For many homeowners, weekends are synonymous with mowing, fertilizing, and watering.

“Lawn has been a status symbol for centuries, and we have bought into the commercials that tell us if it’s not a perfect lawn, our neighbors will hate us and, you know, we’re just not good citizens,” says Doug Tallamy, an author and professor at the University of Delaware.

Tallamy wants to change this way of thinking. He says perfectly manicured grass does not benefit the climate or biodiversity.

“What I suggest is we cut the area of lawn in half,” Tallamy says, “We have an area of lawn the size of New England in the U.S. right now. We’ve got to reduce that. So just look at your yard, and say, ‘I’m going to cut it in half and I’m going to cut it in half by putting plants into my yard.’”

But not just any pretty plants. Tallamy urges people to use native species that provide food and habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.

And to help the climate, he says to include more than flowers. Plant shrubs and trees that will absorb and store more carbon.

The idea is to think not only about beauty but how your landscaping can also benefit the environment. “It’s a brand new way for people to look at the role of their yards,” he says.

And it’s an approach that might also free up a few more of your weekend hours.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.