Friday, May 20, 2022

Vegas Banned the Grass

"The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. What the younger generation didn’t understand was that the grass was greenest where it’s watered." - Nicholas Sparks

Grass being grass

Las Vegas...the city of are free to drink in public, own tigers, see amazing shows, gamble your life savings away...after all... what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.  Except for the green grass, that crap has gotta go!

Last year Las Vegas passed a surprising law that bans all non-functional grass as a water saving measure since they seem to be having more abundant and intense droughts since a government drought monitor was launched in 2000.  Coincidentally the levels of water at Lake Mead have been dropping consistently since 2000.  Vegas relies on Lake Mead for it's water and Vegas continues to have increasing levels in its population.  You're probably starting to see what the problem is here.

This is certainly a groundbreaking law to be put into place, as far as US laws go, and it sets the stage for other cities as the rest of the US (and the world) continue to experience more frequent and more extreme weather due to our good ol' friend that we all thought we would never actually meet ... global warming a.k.a. climate change.

Functional grass though, what in the world is functional grass?  It's exactly what it sounds like.  You know as you walk around cities you see grass medians or other random patches of grass that never ever get used by anyone yet for some reason we planted grass there, water abundantly, then spray weed killer on said grass so it can look nice and pretty for everybody's Instagram photos?  That's exactly what non-functional grass is.

Given that, this law is not nearly as extreme as it initially sounds as single family homes can still hold onto their patches of abundant, overwatered, and useless grass...for now.  Plus this law doesn't even take effect until 2027, which gives everybody plenty of time to comply with the new and drastic law.  However all the non-functional grass has gotta go eventually so the city can start saving on water as quickly as possible.  The replacement has already started and the water authority is projecting that 3,900 acres of grass will be removed overall which will save around 9.5 billion gallons of water annually per that article!

9.5 billion gallons of water saved annually ... holy crap!  That is ssssssoooooo much water and that's just in a single town.  How much water are we wasting across the entire US on our luscious, grassy green lawns that literally do nothing for us and are indeed useless?

Ripping out that picture perfect grass and putting in some native flowers and plants is where it's at!  Admittedly, replacing grass with vegetables won't necessarily save you water, you may even end up with the exact same water usage as when you had grass BUT you are now watering something you can eat and we all need to eat so that is most certainly a functional use of water.  Native flowers and plants on the other hand will most certainly give you the most amount of water savings possible while giving the local pollinators some much needed food, which is another thing that your precious grass does not do.

Maybe you'll even build your very own drip irrigation system to water your vegetables and/or native flowers, then you have the most effective delivery method of water currently possible so you are not wasting water.  Who knows, you may even stop spraying harmful chemicals on your property all together and not only will the city then have cleaner water but your soil health will build and over time your soil will retain more water, just like a sponge, and you'll need to water even less.  Wouldn't that be amazing?!

Sssssooooooo how about we all get a head start on heading off global warming* as much as humanly possible and we all start replacing our unused grass with native flowers and plants and/or functional vegetables?!  After all, Vegas banning grass is a sign of what is to come for the rest of the country... eventually.

If you want to get super duper crazy, you could even start composting your food scraps instead of throwing them into a bag that won't break down for a few thousand years.  Which would make your trash work for you to build your soil... how crazy would that be?!

You know you want to ssssoooooo DO IT!

*While I'd love to believe that people will band together and do their part to save the planet, we all know that won't happen and each city across the US will very, very, very slowly start implementing similar laws that are purely reactionary, not preventative, and each city will most certainly wait until the very last second humanly possible to enact such planet saving laws that are often viewed as extreme, just as Vegas waited as long as they could to enact this law that we are now talking about.

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