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Our Changing Climate


8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies

Regional Focus

North America, United States, Europe


YouTube Video

Why Lawns Must Die

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  • This video provides historical context about lawns, the many ways that lawn maintenance can be damaging to our planet, and the ways that lawns are now regulated. 
  • Topics covered in the video include colonialism, conformity, classism, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, gas-powered lawn mowers, non-native grasses, monocultures, and water waste. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video brings up valuable content that is typically overlooked, especially given that there are more acres of grass than corn grown in the United States.
  • Students may also be surprised to learn how much water, fertilizer, and pesticides are sprayed onto lawns each year.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video content ends at 9 minutes, 26 seconds. The last segment is an advertisement.
  • You may have to sit through commercials to view the video.


  • Science classes could use this video as a hook to discuss the nitrogen cycle, water ecosystems, eutrophication, biodiversity loss, and land use changes.
  • Social studies and civics classes could discuss new regulations that could prevent HOAs and cities from mandating lawns and lawn maintenance.
  • Economics classes could discuss the financial impacts of regulations that require residents to maintain lawns with chemicals, equipment, and water.
Scientist Notes
This resource highlights the need to reduce lawn ownership and convert lawn spaces to agricultural purposes to drive food security. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Social Studies
    • Civics & Government
      • Civics & Government 1 (D2): Students understand the basic ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in Maine and the United States as well as examples of other forms of government in the world by comparing how laws are made in Maine and at the federal level in the United States.
    • History
      • History 1 (D2): Students understand major eras, major enduring themes, and historic influences in United States and world history, including the roots of democratic philosophy, ideals, and institutions in the world by analyzing and critiquing major historical eras: major enduring themes, turning points, events, consequences, and people in the history of the world and the implications for the present and future.
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