Artificial Lawn Landscaping Truths You Should Know:
1. Fake Grass and Its Place in Sustainable Living
According to Dr. James B. Beard, a turfgrass scientist with international recognition, people have been investing time and money into their artificial lawn landscaping for hundreds of years. Even before that, people in Africa thousands of years ago settled where turfgrasses were low in the savannas, which allowed them to hunt or see approaching danger with ease. By the medieval times, Europeans filled the areas around castles with grass so that watchmen could scan the horizon for people heading toward them. During the 15th century, ornamental lawns started to pop up at private residences and in parks. Today, a lawn is no longer considered a status symbol and is common at private residences around the world. However, some experts believe it's time for this to change. Is artificial grass the answer?
2. Why Real Grass Is Bad for the Environment
Maintaining a lawn that uses real grass costs money and time, not to mention depletes natural resources at a faster rate. The Environmental Protection Agency says the average four-person family uses about 352 gallons of water per day, and depending on the region, between 30 percent and 60 percent of that is outdoors. Real grass requires watering to maintain a healthy appearance, and many homeowners water their lawns for about 20 minutes per day. That is the equivalent of taking more than 800 showers in seven-day period. When you pair that with the fact that a Government Accountability Report from 2014 showed that 40 state water managers expected a shortage in the next decade, it's easy to see why a real lawn is bad for the environment in terms of water usage.
It isn't just water that experts worry about, either. The EPA also notes that Americans use roughly 800 million gallons of gas just by mowing their lawns each year, which releases a variety of pollutants into the air. Regulation of emissions from garden equipment engines didn't occur until the late 1990s, which means that people using older machines are releasing an even higher amount of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants into the area. Even new mowers create enough emissions in one hour of use equivalent to driving 11 new cars for the same amount of time. That doesn't even include the gas that homeowners spill as they try to fill their own mowers. more than 17 million gallons of gasoline and other fuels leech into the ground and make their way into water supplies each year. You must also consider ozone alert days since most lawn maintenance occurs during summer months. When the ground level ozone is at its highest, using gas-powered mowers can contribute to problems for people who have asthma or other respiratory issues aggravated by ozone levels.
3. The Alternative to Real Lawns
The problems with real grass don't change the fact that people still want gorgeous lawns. They're comfortable for relaxing on the weekends and add curb appeal to homes, which is often important for those who plan to sell. The solution is to help homeowners find sustainable landscape ideas. One such idea is the use of artificial grass. Fake grass is comprised of synthetic fibers that look like the real thing. They are most common in areas where sports are played, but an increasing number of business owners and homeowners are turning to it as a solution for the environmental problems brought on by real lawns.
Although it's only started getting more attention in the past decade or two, artificial grass is not a new idea. In fact, it's been around since the 1960s when the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, used it for its second season. It had tried natural grass in 1965 but found it couldn't keep the grass alive and painted it green to maintain appearances for the second half of the season. In April 1966, the stadium installed a limited supply of AstroTurf on the infield. By July of the same year, the entire field was artificial grass, and by the 1970s, it was common in indoor and outdoor sports arenas alike.
Despite its benefits, artificial grass didn't grow in commercial and residential landscaping until the 1990s. Even then, it was more popular in arid regions where it was harder to keep a natural lawn alive. Today, it is becoming increasingly popular for all types of businesses and homes in neighborhoods across the country.
4. Benefits of Artificial Lawns
The benefits of artificial grass for the environment are easy to see. Since you will no longer need to use a gas-powered mower on your lawn, you'll stop contributing to the rise in air pollution, and your neighbors will likely appreciate the lack of noise pollution at 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday as well. Fake grass also does not require fertilizers or weed killers that may use toxic chemicals to keep it looking healthy, which means it is safer for kids and pets. Finally, you'll save roughly 55 gallons of water per square foot each year. The Lawn Institute estimates the average lawn at 10,000 square feet. That translates to 550,000 gallons of water saved.
The sustainable living benefits of fake grass aren't just for the environment, though. Artificial grass also makes your life easier. For one thing, it's affordable. Although the upfront cost can feel quite expensive, fake grass lasts up to 25 years. When you factor in the money you'll save on new mowers, fuel for them, fertilizers, watering and other maintenance costs for a natural lawn, an artificial one more than pays for itself. You'll also save plenty of time. Imagine how much more fulfilling your weekend will be when you can swim with the kids, read a good book or simply relax on the couch instead of mowing, weeding and performing other maintenance tasks all day.
5. The Best Places to Use Artificial Grass
Simply put, everywhere is the best place for artificial grass. Business owners who use it show they care about the environment and maintain a gorgeous property all year without needing to pay hefty landscaping bills. In sports and on playgrounds, fake grass is easier on the joints and safer when people fall. If the area is properly leveled first, it also prevents the natural holes or uneven terrain that can cause unexpected falls on a natural lawn. Most types of artificial grass include drainage technology, which means fewer muddy footprints and paw prints in the house. Sustainable lawns are so modern that they even look great when used to create unique rooftop patios or decks.
Between the savings, modern look and, of course, the environmental benefits, it's easy to see why more people are turning to artificial grass for their homes and businesses. Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of sustainable landscape ideas? Get in touch with the professionals at MegaGrass to schedule a consultation.