Front lawns are all too common across the United States, yet they produce a huge amount of pollution through absorbing fertilizer and pesticides. Homeowners use 800 million gallons of gas to mow 40 million acres of lawn. Fleet Farming, an organization started by Heather Groves and Chris Castro in Orlando, Florida, aims to reduce pollution by transforming those inefficient lawns into gardens that provide food for their local community.
It’s not only lawns that are an issue, but our food systems. According to Fleet Farming, “33 percent of climate change can be attributed to food production systems.” Food is often transported hundreds of miles, consuming fossil fuels, and much of it ends up in the trash can. One front lawn at a time, Fleet Farming is working to fight this waste and combat climate change.
They convert grass lawns into gardens, called ‘farmlettes,’ and grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs. So far 11 Florida lawns have been changed into gardens. Fleet Farming volunteers maintain the farmlettes and harvest the produce. They transport it to the local farmer’s market using only bicycles to ensure their program is as sustainable as possible.
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