Synthetic turf is a more environmentally friendly option than maintaining naturally grown grass. The biggest advantage of synthetic turf is that it does not require regular watering like natural lawns, and therefore can look well kept while natural lawns begin to wilt due to restrictions on water usage. It is estimated that about 56,000 gallons of water can be saved annually if synthetic turf systems are installed.
Secondly, artificial grass doesn’t need to be mowed; therefore no petrol or gas driven lawnmowers are required, which contributes to cutting costs as well as carbon emissions. Not only that, but fake grass requires no fertilizers, and unlike natural lawns, there is no risk of chemicals going into the drainage through the water. Synthetic turf is also free of lead, and can be recycled. It is a convenient means of minimizing the ‘carbon footprint’ and a good attempt at making architecture and public spaces ‘greener’ and environmentally friendly.
If field turf is used on a wider scale, then it has several impacts which can prove to be beneficial for whole communities. Conservation of water tops the list, since water resources are precious in several areas. The costs of herbicides, fertilizers and fungicides are reduced, and the chance of chemicals going into drains is therefore minimized. Conversely, if the use of chemicals is reduced, then the fossil fuels required to manufacture them are also conserved.
Costs of maintenance can be cut down with elimination of plastic and paper tools and landfill sites see a decrease in the number of tires if synthetic grass is installed on a large scale. On the medical side, synthetic turf is less likely to induce allergies or asthma, and curb the spread of MRSA (staph) bacteria.
Another important advantage of having synthetic turf is the contribution towards Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits. This will encourage wider appreciation and use of green building methods, as using synthetic turf will greatly reduce the overall emissions and cost of running a building/facility by cutting down water and maintenance costs.
Synthetic turf can be recycled once it has been used for its full term. Some companies recycle used turf into products that include: school bags, batting cages, tote bags, t-shirts, backing for road bases and so on.
However, some consider that while artificial grass may save communities a large quantity of water annually, it comes with its own set of problems which have yet to be understood properly. For one, the manufacture of synthetic turf involves using rubber from unused tires. This rubber contains lead and other substances which can slowly pollute the environment by getting into the water system and affecting children.
Recently, artificial lawn grass is also being manufactured from compounds that involve the use of fossil fuels in their manufacture. Artificial turf cannot host habitats for insects, birds and animals either, which rely on natural grass for their food and shelter. A better option might be to grow those species of grass which use less water to grow and can keep contributing to the natural ecological cycle.