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Blades of Glory: Fake Grass Is Eco?
Posted By Leslie Garrett On July 9, 2009 @ 3:32 pm In Green Living | 5 Comments
I always thought that a simple equation for living green was thus: Fake = bad; real = good. For example, fake food (Twinkies), bad; real food (apples), good. Simple, right? Turns out … not so much.
Friends from Northern California recently announced that they were installing fake grass at their new home. I was aghast. While my East Coast sensibility chalked it up to some “California” thing, I nonetheless tried to steer them away from what I assumed was the purchase of a petroleum-based product masquerading as Mother Nature’s own lush green carpet.
But my friends were convinced of not only the aesthetic appeal of their faux grass (check out the look of the artificial turf in the photo above), but also the eco-friendliness of it.
Perplexed, I did a little digging. And what I unearthed has turned this treehugger into a … well … a treehugger who just might hug fake trees, too.
Turns out our lawns — even our occasionally yellowish-brown organically grown lawns , take their toll on Mother Earth’s resources. And those of us (well, not me) who rely on sprinkler systems and (gasp!) fertilizers and pesticides  create lawn disorder that makes Mother Nature blanch.
Still, the manufacture of artificial turf must surely wreak eco-havoc of its own, insists my fake = bad mindset.
Well, yes. But these lawns will last anywhere from 15 years to 30 years. With no water or mowing.
Most artificial turf is made of polyethylene — which isn’t necessarily “good” but is better than alternatives. It doesn’t contain heavy metals like synthetic lawns made with rubber tire pellets do, and it’s more recyclable than fake grass made with polypropylene. Some companies offer free polyethylene grass recycling, should you ever part ways with your plastic lawn. (Check out Earth911 ’s finder tools for hard-to-recycle items.)
Of course I still find myself musing, “But it’s … fake!” As in UN-natural! But fake, it seems, is the new green on the block. Just think! No grass stains to challenge my eco-friendly detergent . No grubs to taunt my natural pesticides . No mowing.
I’ve certainly had my eco-predilections challenged … though, for now at least, I think I’ll stick with the real thing. Maybe I’ll get a push mower  …
Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com
URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/blades-of-glory-fake-grass-is-eco/
URLs in this post:
 organically grown lawns: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Benefits-of-Green-Landscaping.html
 fertilizers and pesticides: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Organic-Gardening-101.html
 water: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/10SimpleWaystoConserveWater.html
 air pollutants: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/ClearingtheAironIndoorPollution.html
 driving a car: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/CarFree-Commuting-Its-Easier-Than-You-Think.html
 Earth911: http://earth911.com/
 eco-friendly detergent: http://www.gaiam.com/category/eco-home-outdoor/household/laundry.do?SID=WG107SPRTAPEMACS
 natural pesticides: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Easy-Green-Gardening-Tips.html
 push mower: http://www.gaiam.com/product/reel+lawn+mower.do?SID=WG107SPRTAPEMACS
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