What are the hidden costs of traditional lawn care when health and environmental concerns are taken into account? Is synthetic turf a sustainable alternative to a regular lawn?
One need only turn on the local news to see that water conservation is of vital importance these days. Raging wildfires, depleted aquifers and municipal water shortages are an increasing reality, and everyone from homeowners to city managers are looking for any way they can to reduce their water usage.
Nowhere is this more dramatically illustrated than in the boreal forests circling the northern hemisphere. Scientists have long warned that rising temperatures resulting from climate change are leading to water shortages, straining agricultural efforts, and even more tragically, firefighting campaigns.
The city of Fort McMurray, Alberta was almost destroyed in May 2016, sending the town’s population of approximately 90,000 running for their lives as rising temperatures, drying trees and faster melting snow turned the surrounding forest into resinous matchsticks. This pattern is seen around the globe, with about 70 million Russian acres burned in 2012, and about five million acres torched in Alaska in 2015.
One large way to reduce water usage is to consider the true value of a green lawn. Agricultural engineers in the western United States have spent long hours identifying the kinds of plants that are drought-resistant or drought-tolerant. It’s a common misconception that these kinds of techniques only yield lawns strewn with gravel and cactus, but even now, xeriscaping enthusiasts are limited in what they can use to reduce their water usage—particularly if a green lawn is still a priority.
One increasingly popular option is to make use of synthetic turf, or Turfscape. These kinds of products are made out of engineered materials, creating a perfectly firm and even surface for the public to walk on. Additionally, no pesticides or fertilizers are needed to keep a Turfscape lawn healthy, meaning fewer health impacts to exposed populations like children, the elderly and pets.
With Turfscape, one doesn’t have to give up on the lush, green aesthetic appeal of ordinary grass. Turfscape never needs to be cut or watered—instead the turf remains green, of a trimmed length, and well within any homeowners association requirements. Regardless of foul weather or weekend plans, a Turfscape lawn will always look its best.
According to EPA WaterSense, the average American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water each day, and about 30 percent of that is devoted to outdoor use. Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for almost one-third of all residential water use, totaling more than 7 billion gallons per day. According to the San Bernardino County Sun, about 500 homes per week across Los Angeles County opt to buy synthetic turf due to permanent water shortages.
Turfscape also eliminates the need for millions of pounds of potentially harmful pesticides and fertilizers, which have long-demonstrated health and environmental impacts.
According to the US EPA, 5.2 billion pounds of pesticides were used worldwide in 2006 and 2007. Regardless of the reason, there are many options for making use of the kind of high-tech, Turfscape solutions available in North America. These products deliver scientifically engineered, environmentally-friendly synthetic turf that saves residential, municipal and commercial customers time and money while improving aesthetic appeal and ensuring a safe surface for families, children and pets.
This post is sponsored by our Green Franchise partner, Turfscape
Images from Shutterstock (sprinkler), and Rich Ingle/Turfscape