‘No Mow May’ movement aims to help local environment

No Mow May is giving people an excuse not to mow their lawns.
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 6:59 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - “No Mow May” is here and is now giving people an excuse not to cut their lawns while helping them save money in the process.

“No Mow May” is a month-long movement started to help nature to run its course throughout local communities. During the month of May, residents are being asked not to cut their grass in an effort to increase the abundance and diversity of wildlife, such as bees and other pollinators in local communities.

The movement not only helps the environment but helps residents save money too. When you don’t have to cut the grass, you’re saving energy and money on gas or electricity, depending on the type of lawn equipment you have.

“It’s going to save costs simply because we’re not mowing so frequently, it will save on our carbon footprint, and it would throw out a much-needed lifeline to local wildlife,” said Mark Schofield, with Plantlife, the international conservation organization in the United Kingdom that created ‘No Mow May.’

Each time we cut the lawn, we use energy, spend money and take away the chance for bees to pollinate - and that’s a crucial puzzle piece to keeping a healthy environment.

Experts say honeybees pollinate 15 billion dollars worth of crops throughout the United States each year. The bees help farmers produce about one-third of all of our food.

The idea behind “no mow may” is to let those bee-friendly plants in your lawn grow.

If you’re going to participate in No Mow May, you’ll have to check your local rules and adhere to your HOA, if you have one. The City of Richmond’s property maintenance guidelines state grass cannot grow taller than 12 inches.

“The demand to maintain the perfect lawn comes with a big demand on your carbon footprint. We’re advocating a real change in the system in the way we use, the way we manage our grassy spaces and that opens up a whole well of possibilities,” said Schofield.

Schofield also says mowing less creates more habitats, increases wildlife diversity and can actually make your grass healthier and more drought resistant.

That means the volume of your soil below your lawn will be ratified with more roots, deeper roots, and more fungi. that’s a healthier, more natural soil, and it also packs in the organic matter which makes our lawns and public grasslands much more effective as a carbon reservoir,” Schofield said.

Taking small steps to help save the environment will add up.

“The best thing you can do, according to our waste management hierarchy, is, believe it or not, imitate nature,” said Schofield.

Schofield also says you can imitate nature by saving, composting and reusing the lawn cuttings instead of just dumping them in a pile or trashing them.

For more information about “No Mow May” or how to participate, click here.