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[GreenYes] Lawns

Title: [GreenYes] Lawns


Great idea for incentives for push mowers. I live in a city and most people
have small lawns.  Only somewhat mildly related is this article I just saw
in a LOHAS email. So low water use may increase GhG emissions:

New Study Shows Responsibly Managed Lawns Reduce Carbon Footprint
Source: OPEI
Published: Friday, June 06, 2008
print version

A turfgrass study conducted by Dr. Ranajit Sahu, an independent
environmental and energy expert and University instructor, on behalf of the
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), shows that responsibly managed
lawns sequester, or store, significant amounts of carbon. In fact, healthy
turfgrass can capture up to four times more carbon from the air than is
produced by the engine of today¹s lawnmowers. The findings are based on
several peer-reviewed, scientific studies and models where carbon
sequestration had been measured in managed and unmanaged turfgrass. The full
report is available at

³We were unsure about the study¹s outcome, but existing data shows that a
net carbon benefit exists from well-managed turfgrass, such as the typical
American lawn,² said Dr. Sahu, who reviewed existing data to determine the
carbon sequestered by turfgrass, such as household lawns, golf courses, and
sports fields, as well as wild grassland systems. ³When you take care of
your lawn and promote a healthy root system, your lawn acts as a carbon
sink, pulling and storing away carbon.²

The report, titled Technical Assessment of the Carbon Sequestration
Potential of Managed Turfgrass in the United States, assesses the carbon
benefit of well-managed turfgrasses that are cut regularly and at the
appropriate height, fed with nutrients, such as grass clippings, watered in
a responsible way, and not disturbed at the root zone.

³It turns out that you can reduce your carbon footprint right in your own
backyard,² said Kris Kiser, Vice President, Public Affairs, OPEI. ³Mowing
grass and pruning shrubs and trees keeps plants in a growing state. This, in
turn, ensures they are actively pulling carbon dioxide­ a greenhouse gas --
from the air.²

Added Dr. Sahu, ³your lawn, if managed properly, can be essentially a decent
foot soldier in our quest to reduce our carbon footprint. The key is to
actively manage your lawn to improve its carbon intake, and not letting it
Œgo to seed¹ and into a ³dormant state.²

Dr. Sahu has taught and continues to teach numerous courses in several
Southern California universities including UCLA (air pollution), UC
Riverside (air pollution, process hazard analysis), and Loyola Marymount
University (air pollution, risk assessment, hazardous waste management) for
the past fifteen years. Dr. Sahu has and continues to provide expert witness
services in a number of environmental areas in both state and Federal courts
as well as before administrative bodies.

Amy Perlmutter
Perlmutter Associates
23 Avon Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Strategic planning, partnership building, communications, and program design
for a sustainable future

On 6/9/08 3:41 AM, "GreenYes group" <noreply@no.address> wrote:

> Date: Sun, Jun 8 2008 6:58 pm
> From: Ann Schneider
> Hi ZWForum, CNRCC Energy & Climate Comm & GRRN:
> Just curious but what is the general feeling in the greater recycling
> community about sending food waste to sewage treatment plants (POTWs
> publically operated treatment works) so energy can be recovered and the
> end product I assume used as a soil amendment.  In the study just
> released below the food waste is kept separate from other materials
> entering the POTW so should be no cross contaimation with sewage sludge.
> If this is a good idea, we may want to add this to suggestions we are
> sending to Cool Cities as a good way for gargage and energy to work
> together aka achieve both composting and energy goals and sustainability
> goals (handling things close to the source) by getting each communities
> POTW to add this type of process to their operations.
> Ann Schneider
> Chair, National Zero Waste Committee
> Sierra Club
> Ann.Schneider@no.address

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