Updated: Mar 5
Solutions to climate change can be as simple as rethinking how society uses unproductive landscapes. Roots Down is building a movement that will transform random, barren, and boring patches of grass and cement into regenerative and bountiful landscapes filled with vegetation. We know that doing it the “right way,” with simple upgrades, will bring us closer to the ultimate goal of saving this planet from irreversible climate change. Regenerative and ecologically sound landscapes emit less CO2 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The health of our planet can start to be restored! Also, it helps that these solutions encourage less spending! *wink wink* So, what are some other ways Productive Urban Landscapes (PULs) can address climate change?
Building better lawns
The average landowner believes grassy lawns are good for the environment. They mistakenly believe that it is easier to maintain and grow grass compared to the foliage they may desire. Although grass does remove CO2 from the air, growing and maintaining the grass produces copious amounts of CO2. Lawns are a carbon source, a scientific term to describe a system that generates more carbon than it stores. Mowing, watering, and fertilizing produce net positive amounts of CO2. The alternative solution is to add perennials which are carbon sinks that store carbon rather than expel it. Perennials will heal the planet from excess carbon emitted into the atmosphere.
Building better by reducing transport
Building more useful landscapes can prevent useless transportation as well. Producing food closer to its final destination eliminates miles of driving and additional CO2 production. Transportation is the largest contributor to global warming in the US and similar countries. The United States imports nearly half of its fruit. Think about all the greenhouse gas emissions produced from transporting products to markets and a consumer driving to and from the market to receive the products. The best solution is to efficiently use the landscapes we have available near us and grow foods that can eliminate useless driving, CO2 emissions, and the waste of non-renewable resources.
Building better without pesticides
Eliminating pesticides and herbicides is a critical factor in improving landscapes that will ultimately help solve climate change. The use of pesticides and herbicides is a dangerous cycle. Pesticides create warmer climates, inviting pests and weeds to proliferate, ultimately causing more and more pesticides to be used against unwanted visitors. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “30% of global emissions leading to climate change are attributed to agricultural practices including pesticides.” Fumigants are the most popular and hazardous greenhouse gas-producing pesticide. Fumigants produce nitrous oxide, which is a gas 300 times more potent than CO2. Try to stimulate landscapes without the use of pesticides and herbicides. Overall it’s more beneficial to your health and the health of the planet.
Building better with compost
Composting your waste is very useful for reducing harmful greenhouse gases. When organic materials break down in landfills they are emitted into the atmosphere as methane, whereas, if these materials were composted and used for nutrients, they would produce positive effects on the environment. Compost plays an important part in preventing erosion and maintaining water during a drought. Simply composting waste removes additional emissions from the atmosphere, and stimulates plant growth. Those plants will eventually take carbon from the atmosphere to aid their growth! Building better landscapes are also about repurposing waste efficiently! What some may think of as trash is glorious nutrition for soil!
Building better without tilling
Tilling is one of many agricultural practices that hurts the climate. Tilling exposes the soil’s carbon to oxygen which allows it to be burned off into the atmosphere. That will damage your soil and lead to deforestation. When landscapers commit to stop techniques such as tilling, the climate can start to see a turnaround. Why till when there are so many other ways to generate positive crops? This is a small step in the right direction!
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