“Dylan Edwards manages the Ocean Friendly Gardens program for the Surfrider Foundation. He said artificial turf does help conserve water, but Surfrider is concerned about runoff.
“But underneath that synthetic turf you have this really unhealthy compacted soil,” said Edwards. “And so the rainwater comes down, hits the synthetic turn, a chunk of it gets absorbed. But a vast majority of it runs off into the streets and into the gully’s, the storm drains and ultimately into the oceans.”
He also said the turf absorbs sunlight.
“It’s a petroleum product and that has some CO2 emissions related to it,” said Edwards. “It also absorbs a ton of the heat from the sunlight here in San Diego. What it’s actually working to do is creating this little heat island around our city. And, of course, that contributes a little bit to the overall global warming picture, but also forces folks to run up their air conditioning a little bit more.”
Edwards said drought-tolerant and climate-appropriate plants are a better option because they absorb carbon and release oxygen.”