As we journey through the ups and downs of parenthood, we’re constantly faced with choices about what’s best for our families. One of those decisions might be about the patch of green where our kids play tag or where we have our family BBQs. Let’s have a chat about synthetic lawns and some thoughts that might have crossed your mind.
Is Synthetic Lawn Just a Plastic Patch?
So, synthetic lawns – they’re everywhere! From that neighbor who always has a perfectly green yard to local parks and school fields. No mud, no mess, sounds perfect, right? But as I dug deeper, I realized the real cost isn’t in dollars but in its impact on our environment and health.
Where Have All the Critters Gone? Natural lawns are like nature’s playground. Worms, bugs, and those lovely birds pecking away – all these tiny creatures love it. Replace that with synthetic grass, and it’s like turning off the lights at a party. You end up with a less lively backyard devoid of nature’s tiny dancers.
Synthetic Lawns: Not So Cool Underfoot
Remember how natural grass feels cool even under the summer sun? That’s because it releases water into the air. Synthetic lawns, on the other hand, might just roast your toes (and Fido’s paws) on a hot day.
Synthetic Lawns: A Plastic Problem Lurking Underfoot
Plastic, the heart of synthetic lawns, has a few secrets. With time, it starts breaking down and releasing compounds we’d rather not have our kids play around in. Think of it this way: we’re cautious about what toys our kids use due to plastics and chemicals; shouldn’t the same apply to where they play?
The Impact of Synthetic Lawns on Furry Friends and Feathered Visitors
Our pets and the occasional bird might not know the difference between real and synthetic lawns, but their health can be affected. Birds might mistake small plastic bits for food, and our pets, well, they’re in direct contact with the ground. We need to think about them too.
Let’s Talk Carbon Footprint
In our efforts to leave a better planet for our little ones, the carbon footprint of products we use, including synthetic lawns, becomes important. The entire process of creating that synthetic turf, from the raw materials to it arriving at our homes, has its environmental toll.
Natural Lawns Aren’t Without Fault
Now, before we think natural lawns are the ultimate heroes, they’ve got their challenges too. They thirst for water and sometimes, we might use chemicals to keep them looking perfect. But hey, we can always look into eco-friendly lawn care, right?
Life’s full of decisions, and choosing between natural and synthetic lawns is just one of them. But as parents, the choices we make today ripple into our kids’ future. By staying informed and weighing the pros and cons, we can choose what resonates with our family’s values. So, the next time you’re out in the yard with your kids, think about the ground beneath. It’s not just grass – it’s a decision that affects our environment, health, and the future our kids will inherit.
- “Why Fake Grass Is Far from Green in Ways You Might Not Guess.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 17 July 2022, theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/17/why-fake-grass-is-far-from-green-in-ways-you-might-not-guess.
- “Why Are Artificial Lawns Bad for the Environment?” University of Plymouth, www.plymouth.ac.uk/discover/why-are-artificial-lawns-bad-for-the-environment.
- Simpson, Thomas J., and Robert A. Francis. “Artificial Lawns Exhibit Increased Runoff and Decreased Water Retention Compared to Living Lawns Following Controlled Rainfall Experiments.” Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, vol. 63, 2021, p. 127232, doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2021.127232.
- Dubin, Christina. “Synthetic Turf Is Hazardous.” Beyond Plastics – Working To End Single-Use Plastic Pollution, 3 July 2023, www.beyondplastics.org/fact-sheets/synthetic-turf.
- Mohammed, Atef M.F., et al. “Hazard Assessment Study on Organic Compounds and Heavy Metals from Using Artificial Turf.” Heliyon, vol. 9, no. 4, 2023, doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e14928.
- “To Turf or Not to Turf? Why Artificial Grass Is Wasteful.” North London Waste Authority, www.nlwa.gov.uk/blog/turf-or-not-turf-why-artificial-grass-wasteful.