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Making yards more diverse can reap big environmental benefits

By: Emily Liu

When you walk outside to admire your neat, empty lawn, have you ever thought about whether or not your grassy lawn has done anything helpful for the environment?

People in this area need to use special chemicals and fertilizers to keep their lawns green and neat, but the chemicals are causing pollution which causes serious damage and changes to the ecosystem and pollutes much-needed water and soil.

On average, the United States of America uses about 9 million liters of water on lawns, which causes several decades-long droughts in parts of the country. Most people often think of lawns as grass and nothing else. A lawn with only one species of plant is called a monoculture, which is not helpful.

Imagine you're a hungry nectar-eating insect, such as a bee, moth or butterfly that lives in a monoculture lawn filled with grass. The only and biggest problem is that even though there is food, it's either food that you can’t eat or don’t have. A yard filled with a variety of beautiful flowers seems like a delicious welcome buffet to an insect such as you. Pollinators help reproduce. Did you know that one-third of our food crop for instance, needs pollination?

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