The San Francisco Bay Area has always been at the forefront of the ‘green’ movement. Looking to preserve and conserve, more and more concerned residents are turning to artificial grass as a green alternative to “natural” sod lawns.
Natural lawns are anything but natural. Because they are not indigenous, they need an inordinate amount of watering, fertilizing, pesticides and maintenance to keep looking decent. This national preoccupation with maintaining a beautiful green lawn has resulted in some very serious environmental consequences.
Now that spring truly has arrived it is time to consider a kinder approach to residential lawns. Here are ten very good reasons why an artificial lawn is a greener alternative then a traditional sod lawn.
1. GAS CONSUMPTION – Each weekend, roughly 54 million Americans mow their lawns! This results in the use of over 800 million gallons of gas per year.
2. GAS SPILLED – According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 17 million gallons of gasoline are spilled all across America filling up lawn care equipment! Just to give this fact some perspective: the Exxon Valdez oil spill is considered one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters of all time. That vessel spilled 10.8 million of gallons of crude oil, or 37% less than the gardeners of America spill each year. These spills result in a huge volume of emissions of hazardous air pollutants like nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide, and volatile organic compounds, like carbon monoxide. They also contribute to soil and water contamination.
3. AIR POLLUTION – Lawn care engines, which have had unregulated emissions until very recently, emit high levels of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, producing 5% of the nation’s air pollution and 10% or more in metropolitan areas. The EPA also states: a single traditional gas powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars each being driven 12,000 miles. That works out to be the equivalent of an additional 2,322 million pollution producing automobiles on the road every week-end.
4. GRASS CLIPPINGS CREATE METHANE GAS – Grass clippings contribute to global warming by creating methane gas. Here’s how: in a densely packed covered landfill, grass clippings don’t have access to the elements, especially oxygen, that help them break down. With the absence of air, sun and rain, grass clippings decompose and create methane, a potent greenhouse gas 21 times more effective at trapping radiant heat than carbon dioxide. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the number-one source of human-caused methane emissions to the atmosphere is buried waste. In fact, landfills contribute 10% of the gases that are warming the globe. This is the reason that over half of the landfills across America do not accept grass clippings.
5. PESTICIDES – Everyone knows that pesticides are bad for the environment. An estimated 70 million pounds of pesticides are applied to lawns in the U.S.A. every year – ten times more per acre than are applied to agricultural crops.
6. FERTILIZERS – Keeping the grass green is anything but ‘green’. 40%-60% of the nitrogen fertilizer applied to sod lawns end up in surface and groundwater, contaminating and compromising the ecological health of our rivers, lakes, ponds and coastal waters.
7. WATER USAGE – Did you know that landscaping accounts for almost 70% of the water Californians use at their homes? In fact, a small lawn of only 1,000 square feet uses an average of 55,000 gallons of water each year.
8. MOWER INJURIES – According to a report carried out over a period of 5 years in the USA, well over 60,000 Americans were admitted to hospital emergency rooms because of lawn mower accidents. The most common injuries were cuts and bruises but there were cases of bone fractures, limb amputations and even a number of deaths. Admittedly, the ride-on type of lawn mower was a contributor to the more serious types of accidents, however, power mowers and even push mowers were responsible for the lion share of injuries.
9. LABOR – US citizens will spend three billions hours working on their taxes, whether they like it or not. Coincidentally, that is roughly the same amount of time they will be voluntarily spending maintaining their lawns! The hidden cost to the environment is the impact that the lawn care industry has on the environment: trips to the store, trucks on the road delivering goods, gardeners on the road servicing homes, factories mass producing lawn care products, super-freighters carrying imports, the list is long.
10. HEALTH CARE – Sod grass contains microorganisms, pesticides, and herbicides which can harm pets and kids. Many people are allergic to grass as well. There are no such issues with artificial grass.
If you happen to be living in the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in an artificial grass synthetic lawn, please contact us here at onelawn™. We are committed in our pursuit of environmental best business practices. We are partners with Trees for the Future in planting one hundred trees worldwide for every one lawn we install. Please contact us at 1-877-661-5296 or visit our website at www.onelawn.com.