Lawns are out; astroturf and native vegetation are in.
Spurred by state and local rebates, residents and businesses across California are tearing up their lawns and replacing them with more drought-friendly alternatives as part of a broader effort to reduce water consumption. California governor Jerry Brown also called for the removal of 50 million square feet of lawn on public lands, which should save an estimated $2 billion annually.
Water-wasting aesthetic choices are falling so out of fashion that neighbors are taking to social media for a practice that's been dubbed "drought shaming." Photos and videos are popping up on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube mocking residents with lush, green lawns or filling their pools.
Not everyone is willing to make aesthetic change for the sake of conservation, however. Recently, the city of Palm Springs, an upscale community known for its resorts and its golfing, voted to turn its decorative water fountains back on, insisting that little water is lost to evaporation. The Palm Springs area has some of the highest water usage in the state, according to USA Today.
Lawns: Not So Green After All