The history of the lawn is not exactly something to be proud of, not only that but it's history also sketches out a clear picture of how useless the grassy area around your house was meant to be. Back in the day the French Aristocrats decided it would be a grand show of wealth to have pasture that wasn't for animals to graze on - somewhat of a middle finger to the poor. Over time the lawn in America has become the symbol of stable suburban culture, the person who lets their lawn go wild is not only treated like a neighborhood nuisance but can be fined large amounts of money for not mowing- even during a drought! Programs such as Food Not Lawns and the NWF's backyard habitat encourage people with all types of "yards" (from urban to rural) to make your lawn one that grows food for your family or for the wildlife in your area. The idea that some places prohibit the use of one's purchased land from being useful is the stuff of petty & paranoid vanity, since many of the most gorgeous gardens in the world are ones established to be natural habitats growing native flora - like Botanical Gardens & National Forests.
If like me, you are renting property you may have a little less control over what becomes of the lawn around you, but when life sends you mowed grass, rake some hay! On the rare occasion my landlady gets out to mow (because of high gas prices) I go out and gather the dried cut grass in baskets. This makes the best mulch for potted plants, keeping them moist and the decaying grass helps renew the soil.
If you own your property consider using a tiller instead of a lawn mower next time - you'll never have to buy gasoline to mow again, you can put in all native plants, food, clover and other useful resources, you will have the most unique yard with the most butterflies around and help give the ozone layer a breather!