No, really. Wouldn't it be awesome (and cute) if we got rid of lawn mowers and chemical fertilizers and, instead, brought in a bunch of sheep to "cut" and "fertilize" CMS' grassy areas? Heck, this could go county-wide. Think of all the money we'd save and air and water pollution we'd avoid, which would also save us money in water treatment and health care costs.
It's a win-win-win, all for the price of a fence.
Listen, if we're going to get serious about solving our monetary and environmental problems, we need to get out of the habit of doing what we've always done (firing teachers and annihilating budgets) and stretch our imaginations (or, in this case, copy what another school system is doing). We've also got to stop acting like these problems aren't intermingled. We can solve them with creativity and a willingness to tackle more than one issue at a time.
I can't take credit for the sheep idea, though, as spectacular as it is. I got it from TreeHugger.com. Here's a snippet:
As education officials across the country are forced to tighten their belts in these tough economic times, one school district in Pennsylvania has found a clever way of trimming their budget -- by hiring sheep to trim their lawns. The Carlisle Area School District estimates that it will save some $15,000 a year on landscape maintenance costs and cut their carbon footprint simply by enlisting the appetite of a group of sheep to do the job for them.
According to a report from The Patriot-News, cutting the grass around Wilson Middle School's field of solar panels used to take workers 6 hours a week -- and throughout the year, the cost of lawn maintenance really added up. But now, thanks to the appetite of a herd of 30 or so sheep, they've cut that figure down to virtually nothing.
Read the rest of the post, by Stephen Messenger, here.
Wait, did you catch that? The school has a "field of solar panels." And we thought Charlotte was a green energy hub. Humpft. NOT.
Grass is Stupid - CLog, circa 2010
2nd Annual Grass is Stupid Rant -- CLog, circa May
Sheep eating grass. That's all, just 13 seconds of sheep eating grass. (I couldn't resist.)