Gotland's Ugliest Lawn

Climate Communication

Brown is the new green!

Project Facts

The island of Gotland

Project Volume
10.000-100.000 EUR

Applied Financing Solutions
Public Revenues

Project Dates
Start: 2022
In operation since/from: 2023

The Story

Gotland is an island with limited groundwater. Every summer the population on the island doubles. Gotland is regularly experiencing drought conditions. Saving water is therefore a high priority.
How to get people to listen to yet another sustainability message and make them conscious of the water issue? Create a
competition that salutes dry, ugly lawns and challenges the norm of green lawns. If more people could see the beauty in an ugly
lawn, we could save a lot of water. Making it fun to save water instead of lecturing people was a main goal.
Gotlanders posted photos of their dry lawns on Instagram. When the winner was announced in August 2022 the campaign was
praised by media institutions like BBC Newsday, BBC Global News Podcast, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Observer
and Neue Zürcher Zeitung. And it inspired people all over the world to save water during a global drought. 788 million people.were reached with the campaign.

Success Factor | Hero Moment

Unlike most sustainability initiatives Gotland's Ugliest Lawn made sustainability and water saving fun. By challenging the norm of green lawns during a global drought the initiative got energy to spread all over the world. The winner was interviewed by BBC Newsday. The water consumption on Gotland was 5% less than previous summer. Brown is the new green!

Region Gotland, Sweden

Contact Mail


Municipal Initiative, Water

Hard Facts
500.000 people are benefitting directly
€ 2.000.000 Annual cost savings per year