Saturday Tweets: From Archery to Jaywalking

034 Decluttering

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On episode 34 Kelly and Erik discuss their experience decluttering the house using the methods of Marie Kondo. During the discussion we mention:

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Local Politician Tom LaBonge Wants LA Covered in Astroturf and the City to Pay For It

Astroturf and Tom LaBonge

Our local utility is offering residents a sizable rebate to remove lawns and replace them with less water intensive plantings and mulch. This makes long term sense in what appears to be a permanent, climate change related drought here in California.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge is pushing for the inclusion of artificial turf in that rebate program. He, apparently, has a vision of Los Angeles, as one big tawdry miniature golf course. Here’s his motion annotated with my opinions:

As drought conscious residents of the City of Los Angeles look for ways to reduce their water consumption, business is booming for the synthetic turf industry. [And that’s a reason to give them more money?] A recent study revealed that the annual amount of water needed to maintain the average lawn each year is about 34,000 gallons or about 670 bathtubs full of water.

The quality and appearance of synthetic turf has gained popularity, and especially with the drought, turf has become more accepted. [By whom? It’s still plastic. And you need to water it in the summer to make it cool enough to walk on and to wash out pet urine. It provides no benefit for wildlife.] Residential turf is growing exponentially in Southern California, but home installation still accounts for less than 13% of the total turf installations. [Again, is this a reason to subsidize it?]

With rising water rates and with the current lawn removal rebate programs that are offered to residents of the City of Los Angeles, there is a need to look at options such as artificial turf as an alternative for drought friendly landscaping.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the Department of Water and Power be requested to report back with a study on the potential benefits of implementing artificial grass for home installations and how it can make an impact in the current drought conditions. [I’m certain that local water officials already studied the option and, wisely, concluded that they did not want to subside artificial turf. Why waste staff time?]

Let me predict the results, should Tom’s AstroTurf vision become law. In a few years we’ll see acres of ripped, smog and dog feces stained plastic turf that will eventually end up in our overflowing landfills. The present rebate program is an opportunity to create landscapes that support birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife at the same time as they reduce water consumption.  Tom’s future is just a plastic version of the same old lawn paradigm that just doesn’t make sense in our climate.

Thanks to Travis Longcore for the tip on this.

Saturday Tweets: Methane, Almonds and Werner Herzog’s Life Advice