Synthetic lawns have been around for over 50 years. I’m sure that most of you have heard the term artificial turf while watching a Sunday NFL game. Today’s turfs have made some revolutionary advancements into our everyday lives. No maintenance is great because it means a drastic reduction of fertilizers and pesticides that enter our aquifers and local drainage system. It also means no more over watering that can lead to soil degradation from erosion. Topsoil needs to stay at home where it belongs.
The cost of these turfs very widely depending upon lifespan and aesthetic appearance. The cost of a large yard may not be economically wise. This does not mean that there might be a feassable location for artificial turf.
Now the downside of things.
Most artificial turfs are a polypropylene/ polyethylene monofilament ribbon file product, an oil refining by-product, requiring significant resources in its manufacture, including water to form and cool. They also can become hotter than natural grass in areas that receive large amounts of sunlight. Materials such as leaves and feces, will not decompose as quickly on plastics as natural grass. This means that there is some amount of maintenance required to keep the lawn both tidy and sanitary. A major concern of mine is that there are only a few locations that will recycle a sythetic lawns. Another down side is that natural grass converts carbon dioxide to oxygen through photosynthesis.
So is this a good option for you and the environment?
A few things that you can do is survey your property. Are there areas that require large amounts of fertilizer or watering? Are there large shaded areas where grass just wont grow? Are the small areas that are difficult to maintain? Can I use alternate landscape in these areas? Will an organic pesticides and fertilizers work for my lawn? These are just a few questions to ask yourself when considering a synthetic lawns.
There are a number of products on the market and website that offer valuable information. Be sure to ask questions and become informed.