Painting your lawn won’t make it green


"Hi Yo Silver, Chemicals Away!"

“Going green” can be more of a trend than a practice. Take Green Lawnger, for instance.

To the untrained eye, like this Oregon TV station, the product is double green: It will turn a brown lawn into a green lawn without watering, and it’s “environmentally friendly.”

But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t paint your lawn and call it green.

The argument is that Green Lawnger uses kaolin, a natural mineral used in toothpaste, ceramics and anti-diarrhea medicines, and saves on watering.

But that doesn’t mean it’s good for your lawn, pets and kids, and waterways that may take on the runoff.

Take a look at the company’s Web site. A Material Safety Data Sheet there (.pdf) notes that exposure “may provoke asthmatic response in persons with asthma who are sensitive to airway irritants.”

Painting lawns green has been panned by organizations like the North Carolina Conservation Network, which points to a newspaper column that tells the story of a dye job that cleared out all the bugs from the North Carolina man’s yard.

To be fair, Green Lawnger is not the problem. It appears to be “safe” when applied correctly, and is no worse for the world than other chemicals used to fertilize, kill weeds and create new subdivisions.

The problem is with the obsession over green lawns. If you want a truly green lawn, go chemical-free. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation offers several tips and other resources.

(Image credit: purpleslog via Flickr.)

Leave a Reply

You can use these XHTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>