Understanding why individuals choose to engage in landscaping and lawn-care in the first place might help to direct attention and efforts when attempting to build a campaign against the practice. An important study on this specific topic was put forth by AR Carrico, which controlled for age, education, and property values. His findings suggested that fertilizer use was associated with individual concerns over one’s property value, reputation, lawn appearance, social pressures as well as recreational use of the lawn by children and pets. Concerns such as environmental damage and even physical exposure to chemicals were unrelated to fertilizer use. These findings speak to what truly motivates individuals to pursue and maintain a lawn. The social pressures that shape lawn-care decisions, pressures that appear to be independent of personal, aesthetic, and economic considerations but that are as powerful as those concerns. This study is not the first to make this conclusion. These results highlight the complex assemblage of social, economic, political, and ecological factors that converge to influence lawn care practices. Anybody hoping to change the view of lawn owners needs to understand that lawns are not maintained for their environmental benefits, but as an avenue for engaging with one’s neighbors, for fulfilling expectations of what it means to be a positive member of a community, and to communicate a willingness to cooperate in creating and maintaining a shared space. Only by understanding the social implications of landscaping and lawn-care, can a truly successful marketing campaign can be started.
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