U.S. Lawn Care Facts

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DowntoEarthLLC, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. DowntoEarthLLC

    DowntoEarthLLC LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 121

    U.S. Lawn Care Facts

    EPA estimates that the amount of pollution emitted by a lawnmower operating for one hour is equivalent to the amount of pollution emitted by a car driven for approximately 20 miles.

    30 to 60 percent of urban fresh water is used for watering lawns (depending on city).

    $5,250,000,000 is spent on fossil fuel-derived fertilizers for U.S. lawns.

    67,000,000 pounds of synthetic pesticides are used on U.S. lawns.

    60,000 to 70,000 severe accidents result from lawnmowers.

    580,000,000 gallons of gasoline are used for lawnmowers.

    $25,000,000,000 is spent for the lawn care industry.

    $700,000,000 is spent for pesticides for U.S. lawns.

    20,000,000 acres are planted in residential lawns.

    Thats alot of pesticide...
    Watch what your doing guys.
  2. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    You mean to tell me that 3.35 Lbs of pesticide are used on every acre of lawn in the US.


    You mean to tell me that for every acre of lawn in the US someone is spending $1250.00!

    You are telling me that I am using 29 gallons of gas to mow each acre of lawn!

    In fact $262.50 is spent on fossil fuel-derived fertilizers on each acre of lawn in the USA????????????

    Do the math. Dosn't quite compute for me:blob2:
  3. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    More Facts about US Lawn Care

    This is from http://www.alma-lawn.com/turf_facts.html

    Turf -- An Environmental Hero

    There are more than 25 million acres of lawns that provide environmental benefits such as:

    Oxygen production. 58 square metres of lawn provide enough oxygen for one person for an entire day.
    Temperature modification. On a block of eight average houses, front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tonnes of air conditioning.
    Allergy control. Turf controls dust, in addition to pollen from plants that can cause serious health problems for some individuals.
    Pollutant absorption. Turfgrasses absorb gaseous pollutants such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, converting them to oxygen.
    Particulate entrapment. Turfgrasses trap an estimated 12 million tons of dust and dirt released annually into the atmosphere.
    Fire retardation. Grass around buildings helps ****** the spread of fire.
    Water quality. Reducing runoff, turfgrass filters the water that helps to recharge groundwater supplies.
  4. DowntoEarthLLC

    DowntoEarthLLC LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 121

    you do the math dan...
  5. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    I never take these numbers with a grain of salt. I always do the math and most times things just don't add up.

    Have seen many claims in the news about the attendance or size of crowds at an event. When you do the math it would figure at 1 out of two people in the city attending. Then you ask people if they went to the event and you only find about 1 person in 20 actually went.

    The 2 "fact" lists can't even agree on the amount of lawn in the US. There is a 25% discrepancy between them.

    As far as the pollution of lawn mowers another fact is: A lawnmower pollutes as much in one hour as does driving an automobile for 350 miles.
    ( http://www.commonsensecare.com/lawncarefact.html )
    Another discrepancy of 330 miles.:rolleyes:

    If you look at numbers from http://www.guarding-our-earth.com/aggrand/epafacts.htm it states "About 7.5 million households hire commercial lawn care services, and the lawn care industry has annual sales in excess of $1.5 billion." When you do the math that means each household is spending $200 on their lawn. That is a long way from the $1250 per acre computed from DowntoEarthLLC's post What is the sales of the lawn care industry $1.5 billion or $25 billion as in DowntoEarthLLC's post

    Using DowntoEarthLLC's post number of 25 billion spent on lawncare industry that would mean every man, women and child would spend $85.44 on lawn care. (current US population 292,606,272)

    You see I DID DO THE MATH

    That why I am :confused:
  6. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    Yes, there may be some oddities in the statistics. But I don't think DowntoEarth made these numbers up. It would have been better if he had given the source. (where did you get these numbers?)

    If anyone has the stomach for it, check out the responses to this same post on the Commercial Lawn Care forum. That is exactly why I originally suggested that we start a separate forum for the "organic angle". You would think that everyone in the industry would be very interested in such figures.

    One on hand, this was presented as just some numbers that may be of interest, (and like I say, should be EXTREMELY interesting to all), with no particular slant, but on the other hand, there is the comment at the end "Watch what you're doing guys." That kind of puts a slant on it. Actually it is probably true that most of the overuse and improper use of pesticides and fertilizers is done by non-professionals, who are also more likely to be using older and dirtier equipment. And of course it is the uneducated homeowners who use way more water on their lawns than is needed.

    But it is certainly of great interest to get the big picture and to see how it all adds up. Of course no such numbers can ever be accurate and they are also changing all the time.

    I have mentioned before a most excellent book which should be of great interest to all in the industry: Redesigning the American Lawn - A Search for Environmental Harmony. This is a very serious book, published by Yale University. The second edition came out in 2001. Here is an Amazon link:

    Here are some numbers I've extracted from this book:

    Total number of acres of turfgrass in America: 27.6 million (about the size of Pennsylvania)

    76 percent of that (about 21 million acres) is home lawns

    average size of home lawn is 1/3 acre

    about 49 percent of Americans take care of their own lawn

    lawn care industry is $30 billion a year

    world market for pesticides $37 billion in 1997, with 32 percent of that for lawn care in the US

    up to 30 percent of urban water on East coast used for lawn care in 1990

    75 percent of homeowners never water their lawns at all

    That's just a few statistics from the book. Of course they did not make those numbers up, all are documented. But of course they are all from various times and sources and all are inaccurate. Still it is very interesting to see some figures which may help to understand the big picture of lawns and the lawn care industry.

    One thing to get from such numbers - Wow, looks like a great potential for business. Lots of lawns to take care of!

    And while the book may be pointing out the size of the industry, it may also be indicating that a great amount of the improper use of chemicals is by uneducated homeowners.

    One of the responses in the other forum was in reference to water use. This is actually a very serious issue. Water tables are falling and streams are drying up. We have all seen irrigation systems watering lawns while rain is falling. We all know that most lawns need one inch of water per week (and that this may be provided by rainfall). And we have all seen lawns ruined by over-watering. As lawn care professoinals it is part of our job to counsel people on how to water their lawns. It is also possible to follow some organic principles which can cause a lawn to require less watering.

    No need to make this a black and white issue. Like you're either on one side or the other. We're all on this planet together. And those of us in the lawn care industry have a responsibilty to make sure that we are doing our best not to harm the earth as we provide the lawns and landscaping that people want. It all adds up, which is the point of the statistics.
  7. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    If you guys want to debate the stats, go for it. My masters degree is in applied probablity and statistics but I'm going to avoid the discussion for this reason...

    I don't need any more motivation to convert to organic methods and materials. This is the organic forum. We're beyond motivation. We're looking for ways to apply organic methods and materials to the turf care profession.
  8. DowntoEarthLLC

    DowntoEarthLLC LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 121

    GOOD POINT!! :blob3:
  9. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435


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