Saturday, March 18, 2017

Artificial Turf in California: Water Conservation vs. Eco Waste

The recent drought in California has left many residents looking for alternative ways to maintain their landscapes. Grass is notorious for needing large amounts of water and chemicals to maintain. We know that we want to conserve water as a natural resource, and maintaining live grass is a a huge drain on this natural resource. A recently popular alternative to live grass is a new high quality synthetic turf. This turf has the look and feel of real grass, it lasts for years, requires no water and is green all the time. Sounds great, right? The problem is that it is made of petroleum products, and has all the pitfalls and problems associated with plastics and their impact on the planet.

This is a tough decision for a homeowner in California who wants a green lawn. You could have a traditional live lawn that requires chemicals and a generous amount of water to sustain, or you could install synthetic turf and deal with the disposal hazard and environmental impact of petroleum products.

Unfortunately there is no perfect solution for those of us who love our lawns. Going after things we want in life requires us to make sacrifices in other areas. A debate over natural vs. synthetic turf would be an interesting discussion for us to have as a society. There is no question that we will continue to landscape with grass whether it is natural or artificial. Opening up a discussion about what is a better choice could help people in drought prone areas make the right choice with regard to environmental impact.

Still wondering if your lawn is bad for the environment? Here is some additional info:

For those in California who are considering synthetic turf, here is a company called HERO that helps homeowners modify their homes to be more efficient and envrionmentally friendly.

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