Sweden: to save water, a region organizes a competition for the ugliest private lawn

Author: Clark Tos
2022-10-23 17:39:01

Residents of Sweden's largest island competed to see which of them had the ugliest lawn.

Credit: Gotland

The competition is an effort by the Municipality of Gotland to promote water conservation. After the island, located in the middle of the Baltic Sea, welcomed record numbers of visitors and residents last summer, its politicians realized that it needed to make sweeping changes to preserve its water supplies. . Gotland's population doubles during the summer months, putting a heavy strain on water supplies and the limited groundwater supply. According to an OECD report from 2022, water availability is expected to decrease by 13.3% in Gotland between 2021 and 2050. By 2045, water demand water will increase by more than 40%.

The competition was created following irrigation bans, which meant that residents were not allowed to water their lawns. Mimmi Gibson, Acting Marketing and Brand Manager, Gotland Region, said: “You may find it a little strange that we want to pay homage to the ugliest lawns, but we have a challenge in not being allowed to water our lawns. » Gibson added that the ugliest lawn contest would remind islanders not to waste water, and to talk about ways they can adapt their gardens to existing conditions and the climate crisis.

The winning lawn this year is that of Marcus Norström (see photo above), which the jury playfully described as “a really ugly lawn that meets all our expectations for the ugliest lawn in Gotland and has good conditions for a more lasting improvement” . Marcus Norström's award-winning garden demonstrates a 'meritorious laziness' and a “great concern for our common groundwater” , adds the jury. Norström's reward for his lack of effort is a visit from gardener and judge Sara Gistedt, who will offer him personalized advice on what plants to grow in his garden.

Credit: Gotland

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Sara Gistedt said she usually advises people to plant herbs because they are more drought tolerant, suggesting oregano, thyme and rosemary in particular. 'You should not only consider the plants themselves, but also the type of environment that you can create for them. I use rocks in my plantings to provide shade and keep moisture for the plants” she explained.

Consumption this summer was lower than last year, according to officials, who say the decline is due to information campaigns, closer cooperation with the hotel industry and the competition for the most lawn. ugly. Proof that by doing what is necessary, it is possible to make drastic savings on our most essential resources.