How Our Lawns can Act as Carbon SinksMarch 12, 2017
Part 3 of 3
Do a quick Google search of “lawns as carbon sinks” and you’ll get as many different answers as there are scientists out there. So what’s the deal with lawns and carbon sinks? Can your lawn really reduce climate change? And how so?
Carbon Sinks and Carbon Sources
To first understand how a lawn can work as a carbon sink, you must first have a basic understanding of carbon sinks and carbon sources. Carbon sources are those things in life that produce more carbon than they are able to store. The cars we drive every day are a good example. It’s not difficult to see how these carbon sources are bad for our environment – most people today can agree on at least that. By pouring these emissions into our environment, we’re destroying it.
But even with the consensus being that fuel emissions are bad for our planet, it’s hard to find a solution to reducing those emissions when people still have to get to work every day and live their lives.
Carbon sinks on the other hand, have the ability to store more carbon than they produce. For years it’s been known that forests are a type of carbon sink, and farmers with acres of land are now even beginning to learn about carbon sinks, and how they can use their crops as giant carbon sinks. When there are large areas of grasslands and soil, that plant life will store more carbon in the soil, removing it from the atmosphere.
Once this understanding is in place, it’s then clear to see how we can reduce climate change – by reducing our carbon sources and increasing our number of carbon sinks.
Carbon Sinks and Lawns
Even with all the understanding we have today about carbon sinks and carbon emissions, homeowners are still left feeling hopeless, and as though there’s nothing they can do about the problem. They talk about it while walking on their lawn, admiring their garden beds. They talk about it as they sit on their patio, looking over their lawn. What they don’t know, is that they’re actually looking directly at the solution.
The same way forests can act as carbon sinks, so too can lawns. As the sun shines and the process of photosynthesis begins, the lawn will begin to absorb carbon dioxide, break it down, and turn it into oxygen that it will then release into the air. This is the basic biology we all learned in school.
But what we know now, is that the plant reserves some of that liquid carbon, and releases it through its roots into the soil. In exchange, the grass gets fungi, nitrogen, and bacteria. The more this happens in our lawns and on our grass, the healthier the soil, and the healthier the lawn.
This is how lawns can act as carbon sinks, and it’s so easy to do.
The solution is so simple – we just need to let our lawns start acting like natural lawns instead of treating them like a chemical playground. Synthetic, or chemical fertilizers, stop this natural exchange of carbon and nitrogen, and prevents the soil from becoming fertile enough to be effective in carbon sequestration, or carbon storage.
Not only that, but synthetic fertilizers also greatly contribute to the carbon emissions as they’re being produced and transported, and each year there’s an immense amount of runoff that makes its way to our oceans and other waterways, further contributing to climate change and destroying our planet.
So what can you as a homeowner do? Contact us at Stangl’s! At Stangl’s, we use only natural and biological solutions such as nutrients and minerals, compost, amino acids, and enzymes that help balance the biology of the soil, condition the soil, and breathe life into it so that it can once again start acting like the carbon sink nature always meant it to. And in the meantime, you’ll get a beautiful lawn that’s green and lush, and healthier for you and your family.
Maybe you can’t stop driving your car to work every day. But you can make changes in your lawn. Contact us today by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-641-8133 and find out more!