Editor's note: Call to Earth is a CNN editorial series committed to reporting on the environmental challenges facing our planet, as well as showcasing solutions to those challenges. The Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative has partnered with CNN to raise awareness and education on key sustainability issues and inspire positive action.
(CNN) — A dry brown grass garden is not something many gardeners want to brag about.
But this is exactly the kind of competition organizers of Sweden's yard competition were looking for when they launched the “World's Ugliest Garden” prize.
People from all over the world were invited to post photos of their dried grass on social media in a bid to win the dubious prize.
The goal, according to those responsible for the project, was to raise awareness about “saving water on a global scale by changing the standards of green grass.”
The competition was launched in collaboration with Hollywood actress and environmentalist Shailene Woodley, who described the competition as “a great way to influence people to use less water.”
Green lawns, which may need large amounts of water to maintain, are under increasing scrutiny as climate change makes droughts more frequent and severe.
The global initiative was launched in Official Website From Gotland, Sweden. Their website explains why: “Enormous amounts of water are used to irrigate lawns for beauty. As the world warms, water scarcity is a growing problem.”
Urban water scarcity is expected to affect up to 2.4 billion people in 2050, according to UNESCO data.
“By not watering the lawn for aesthetic reasons, we can protect the availability of groundwater,” competition organizers noted.
The title was awarded to Kathleen Murray, who lives in Sandford, Tasmania, Australia.
According to organisers, Murray Park “boasts deep, dry gullies created by three wildebeests (small marsupials endemic to Australia) and not a dust-covered decimeter is wasted watering them”.
“For that, the planet and its dwindling reserves of life-giving fluids thank you, Kathleen, as well as those noxious gangs that mark your property,” added a press release sent to CNN by Gotland's office on Thursday. “The good one.”
Murray stated in the press release about her win: “I'm so proud! I knew I was going to have my five minutes of fame, even if it was for having the ugliest lawn on the planet! Now I'm free to mow my own lawn.” Grass again.”
Murray now has a certificate and a recycled T-shirt declaring her “the proud owner of the world's ugliest garden.”
“Gotland aims to save water by changing the base of green grass and show Sweden and the world that sustainable behavior does not have to be boring,” the organizers added.
The competition follows a similar contest for the ugliest grass on Jutland in 2022.
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