If your spouse has been on you to get the lawn mowed or your neighbors have hinted that the abundance of dandelions and clover growing in your yard might be driving down property values, the government has some good news for you. It turns out that sitting on the patio enjoying a beer instead of mowing the lawn is good for the environment. New research sponsored by the US Forest Service suggests that mowing your lawn once every two weeks instead of every week will really help bees, and they could definitely use a little help right now.
If you like snacking on a few nuts while sipping your favorite cold brew, then you might find watching the grass grow every other weekend doubly satisfying. Almond orchards rely heavily on bees for pollination. In fact, more than half of all US honeybees are used to pollinate California almonds. So if those annoying neighbors with the perfectly manicured lawn start getting on your case, you might suggest to them that they’re driving up almond prices before casually throwing a few back and putting your feet up for an hour so.
Not mowing the lawn is hardly the only example of helping the earth by taking a seat and relaxing as opposed to doing what you’re supposed to do. If your job provides you with personal days, using a couple of them to stay home and read a good book or watch a movie will cut down your carbon footprint at least a little, especially if you have a lengthy commute every day. Likewise, if the news of some new environmental problem makes you feel sad, let your desolation work on behalf of the planet by taking a sick day.
In addition, shop online whenever possible and have your groceries delivered if you can. Having the FedEx or UPS driver bring you two or three packages is more efficient, to say nothing of more convenient, than making two or three trips (maybe more) trying to find the same items in a store. Similarly, one person in a truck making 20 plus grocery deliveries every day is far better than having 20 or more people each climbing into their car to go pick up groceries.
Finally, if you’re just not an ambitious person by nature you might as well go with it. One study found that thanks largely to the Internet, Americans spent 7.8 more days a year at home in 2012 than in 2003. Both the chance to telecommute and playing video games did their part to contribute to this trend.
While staying home for any reason, including to work, does mean higher energy use at home, homes consume far less energy than office buildings. A home office uses roughly half the energy on average that a traditional office does. When you add in the energy savings associated with decreased transportation use, the environmental benefits climb even further.
So who cares if the neighbors think you’re a lazy bum because you’re always home and never seen wearing anything other than shorts and a t-shirt. Your casual approach to lawn maintenance and work is helping to protect the planet. That’s a noble cause. Just do some extra sit ups to help keep that beer belly under control. Or better yet, do a little gardening and take some nice long walks every day. If nothing else your dog will love you for it.
Other stories by Craig that you might enjoy:
- Do Words Like Smart & Intelligent Really Describe Our Machines?
- Are You Getting Enough Awe In Your Experiential Diet?