Is Artificial Grass Bad for the Environment?

Now that artificial grass seems to be taking over the country, there has been some discussion as to whether or not it is as good for the environment as popular opinion would lead you to believe. ProGreen would like to take a moment to address all of the environmental concerns surrounding artificial grass.

It creates excess runoff

The primary reason this is a problem is because whatever chemicals are in the grass will then be carried into the storm drains and waterways. Well, this would be a serious concern if there were in fact any chemicals on artificial grass, but there are not. This is one of the greatest benefits to turf, you no longer need to use the hazardous chemicals found in fertilizers and pesticides like you do with natural grass. In this respect, artificial grass is better for the environment than real grass. As far as excess runoff, ProGreen synthetic grass systems drain at a significantly better rate than natural grass, which means there will be less runoff.

Artificial Turf is Not Recyclable

Another big argument against synthetic grass is that it will only add to our landfills at the end of its lifespan. This is entirely untrue. ProGreen Synthetic Grass can be 100% recyclable. The polyurethane fibers can easily be melted down to create new products. The backing/tuft bind is the only part of the turf that is not recyclable, however ProGreen does offer a line of grass that features a polyurethane backing, which makes the entire turf product completely recyclable. Even the non-polyurethane tuft bind can be ground down to make certain other products. ProGreen has personally seen old turf transformed into fence posts. So, at the end of the 25 year lifespan, you have a variety of different options other than tossing it in the landfills.

It is not living vegetation

Well, this is indeed a true statement. Artificial grass does not create oxygen and is not a habitat for insects or worms. Yet, just because you have a lawn of artificial grass does not mean you don’t have trees, bushes, flowers, a vegetable garden or other living vegetation. A portion of your yard might be synthetic, but the whole thing doesn’t have to be. We recommend incorporating gardens, shrubs and trees to accent your beautiful, green lawn. On a side note, we think that having an insect-free lawn is a one of the perks of having artificial grass.

If you have any other concerns or questions about the green characteristics of artificial grass, please do not hesitate to contact us. Remember that installing artificial grass can earn LEED credits for your home, which is one of the highest levels of distinction for the green building industry. Do you think you would be able to get those credits with a product that is not actually good for the environment?