With the dramatic technological advancement of the past two decades, we have become capable of synthesizing practically anything – from virtual meet-ups to sheep clones – science has its feet dipped in everything. But, considering our planet’s current climatic status, the subject of the environmental sustainability of the things we use in our lives is quite frequent.
Synthetic grass has been the subject of similar debates since its introduction in the mid-sixties, and many people are still dubious if it is good for our planet. Since its inception, it has been quite popular among property owners. One of the most significant advantages of synthetic grass is its adaptability. While it is ideal for gardens and lawns, artificial grass may also be utilized for a variety of other purposes. Balconies, patios and walks, caravans, staircases, play areas, and so on are just a few examples of where it can be used.
The options are truly limitless!
Despite this, some people are still afraid to make the leap. The debate over real vs. synthetic grass is still going on. But maybe the most important concern of all is if it is safe for the environment. Is it an environmentally sustainable option?
At Lawns King Inc., our team possesses years of experience installing synthetic turfs of various kinds and sizes. Using our expertise and knowledge, we’ve compiled a list of arguments for and against artificial grass and natural grass in regards to their environmental impact.
#1 Reduces Harmful Emission
One common criticism that you must have heard is that synthetic or faux grass does not exhibit the natural phenomenons that normal grass does, such as turning carbon dioxide into oxygen.
While it is true that synthetic grass cannot lower CO2 levels, it is crucial to note that maintaining real grass requires a lot of power, water, and gasoline, especially if you possess a lawnmower that runs on petrol, which adds to the pollution. Do you know? About 8% of global warming is due to the use of such powered garden tools. So much so, that sixty minutes of gasoline-powered lawn mowing produces the same amount of pollution that 4 hours of commuting produces.
Furthermore, constant watering, upkeep, numerous chemical additions, and lawn feed are required to maintain actual grass and make it look presentable and aesthetically pleasing. This is not just harmful to the environment but also to the wildlife.
#2 Artificial Grass Saves Water
Natural grass necessitates watering. And a lot of it, particularly throughout the growth and summer seasons. Artificial grass, on the other hand, does not. If anything, you should only hose clean your synthetic turf once in a while to eliminate dirt and dust or if your pets use it to do their ‘thing.’
Everyone understands the need of conserving and utilizing resources effectively, therefore artificial grass earns a point in this aspect. However, some people argue that synthetic grass still requires a lot of water throughout the warm months. This is due to the fact that it is constructed of plastic and can grow rather hot in the blistering heat of the sun.
Natural grass, on the other hand, tends to stay chilly even in the summer. But, there is high-quality synthetic grass available that withstands high temperatures and stays fresh for long periods of time.
#3 Synthetic Grass Can Never be Toxic
One big benefit of faux grass over natural grass is that it is non-toxic. This is because it does not require the application of weedkillers, pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides to be protected. Real grass, on the other hand, requires them to keep pests and diseases at bay.
These substances are hazardous to humans and animals alike (especially if you have pets). Not only that, but they can harm the ecosystem in ways you probably never imagined were conceivable. The danger arises when the harsh chemicals enter local water sources such as rivers, ponds, and streams.
This can happen as a result of surface water runoff.
When these harsh chemicals reach local waters, they have the potential to harm animals and marine wildlife. Toxin levels that are too high can also cause algae to populate waterways and streams, destroying fish and vegetation. Consider how terrible it would be if these pollutants make their way into your drinking water.
#4 Are Artificial Grass Recyclable?
Another criticism leveled with faux grass is that it is not recyclable. It can survive for up to 25 years. However, if it is not recyclable when it reaches the end of its useful life, it will wind up in landfills, adding to the garbage.
But, this is not the whole story. Not all synthetic or artificial grasses are created equal. In fact, some are made from recyclable materials. And, while the backing/tuft bound is the only portion that isn’t recyclable, it can be easily melted down to make new goods. So, rest assured artificial grass is recyclable and can be reused.
#5 It is a Vegetation That Does Not Breathe
This is correct. Artificial grass does not absorb CO2 or emit oxygen. Natural grass also provides a habitat for living things such as insects, plants, and other organisms that are necessary for the breakdown and recycling of organic and inorganic products that fall into the grass.
However, because pests and insects cannot thrive in these conditions, you will never have a problem with bugs and insects in your fake grass. However, you do not have to limit yourself to synthetic turf. After all, you may still add your favorite plants, flowers, and bushes to your green lawn.
#6 What About Soil Regeneration?
Topsoil takes thousands of years to form, yet it can readily be destroyed due to erosion caused by wind or water. Natural grass plays an important role in preventing this from happening. This is because genuine grass sends many fine rootlets into soil fissures where they grow and die, adding organic materials to the soil.
Unfortunately, it is advised that the soil be heavily compacted and leveled before installing synthetic grass. This process degrades soil structure and kills soil bacteria. It may also cause damage to the roots of nearby trees.
Conclusion – Is it Safe to Choose Artificial Grass?
As you can see, artificial grass has both advantages and disadvantages in terms of environmental friendliness. The same may be said about natural grass. To be sure, synthetic grass is far from flawless, but who knows? As manufacturers and scientists continue to enhance the manufacturing process, there may come a time when artificial grass will be completely safe and environmentally friendly. For now, yes, if you want to revamp your yard, artificial grass is a wise bet.