The Ugly Lawn Challenge

A new global initiative to save water

Dear govenor Newsom,

Just like California our Swedish island Gotland has a chronic problem with drought and water scarcity. Saving water is a constant priority.

Last summer, our campaign “Gotland’s Ugliest Lawn” celebrated lawn owners who conserved water during drought by not watering their lawns, resulting, together with other water saving initiatives, in a 5% reduction in water consumption on the island. Without any media spend, the initiative reached a staggering 788 million people – many of them were Californians who wished for a similar competition in their communities.

Now, we’re launching the Ugly Lawn Challenge globally, aiming to inspire even drier and uglier lawns.

To kickstart the challenge, we are planning to record a Zoom call between an influential person and last year’s winner and regular Gotlander – Marcus Norström. 

We are planning to start the challenge in the beginning of August. With your long-standing engagement in environmental and water-related issues we could make a global impact together, and save a lot of water in California.

Mimmi Gibson
Director of Brand, Region Gotland, Sweden
+46 70 083 22 99

Case video
Gotland’s Ugliest Lawn – the successful initiative to conserve water by changing the norm of green lawns.

Press voices

The opposite of what society defines as the picturesque lawn”
The Washington Post

”The Grass is always browner”
The Guardian

”A clever strategy”

Reactions on social media

”We should do this in California”

”Brown is the new green”

”Great idea for a contest! Oh but let’s take it international; many of us in the Bay Area wanna compete”
Mark A Schoffner

Marcus Norström – the winner of the competition Gotland’s Ugliest Lawn 2022.