Often, urban green spaces can be very good for the environment, especially when they are mainly populated by low-maintenance trees. However, when urban green spaces mostly consist of lawns, then we have a problem. A study in Geophysical Research Letters, conducted by Amy Townshend-Small from University of California, Irvine and others, has noted how the upkeep of such lawns may actually contribute as many or more CO2 as/than the lawn takes away.
Regularly running lawnmowers to keep such lawns manicured is a huge contributor to this problem. Most industrial lawnmowers, used in urban parks and the like, run on fossil fuels. A lesser contributor is the constant use of fertilizer, which emits nitrous oxide. Watering lawns to keep them green year-round also can hurt the environment.
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