Environmental Benefits of Artificial Grass

The environmental benefits of artificial grass make it seem like the natural lawn alternative is politically incorrect from a “green lifestyle” perspective. Of course, there will always be environmentalists who will argue against the artificial synthetic alternative mainly because it is a petroleum based product. But comparing the side effects caused by the maintenance of natural lawns, one has to admit that when compared side by side its overwhelmingly obvious that the synthetic alternative is better on the planet.

Here are the benefits:

Eliminates impact on water resources

  • Installing an artificial grass system for home landscaping alone can save a whopping 56,000 gallons of water per year. And on an average-sized sports field, that number skyrockets to millions of gallons per year.

No pesticides or fertilizers in artificial lawns. 

  • An estimated 70 million pounds of pesticides are applied to lawns every year – 10 times more per acre than are applied to agricultural crops!
  • 40-60% of the nitrogen fertilizer applied to natural grass lawns ends up in surface and groundwater, leading to contamination and impaired ecological health in our rivers, lakes, ponds and coastal waters.
  • Significantly lowers the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels needed to produce lawn care chemicals

No mowing artificial grass.

  • In the United States, gas powered lawn mowers use 800 million gallons of gas each year!
  • Because there are so few emission regulations on lawn mowers, gas powered lawn equipment produces as much as one-tenth of the smog-forming pollutants from all mobile sources.
  • The average gas mower produces as much air pollution in one year as 43 new cars driving 12,000 miles each.
  • Lawn mowers emit high levels of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen oxides.
  • The EPA estimates that 17 million gallons of fuel are spilled each year while refueling lawn equipment – that’s more than the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
  • Spilled fuel contaminates ground water and makes smog-forming ozone.

No grass clippings with artificial grass.

  • Grass clippings account for up to 20% (31 million tons) of the solid waste collected in the US each year.
  • A single acre of grass yields 3 tons of clippings (and uses 250 bags) each year.
  • The EPA estimates that at least one-third of all landfill material is yard waste.
  • Once in a landfill or recycling station, any minerals, chemical, pesticides, etc. seep into ground water as the clippings decompose.
  • When grass clippings break down in landfills, they create methane gas – a greenhouse gas and major contributing factor to global climate change.

Other benefits:

  • Drastically lowers the use of paper and plastic products that support maintenance
  • Removes millions of tires from landfill sites each year
  • Can contribute toward numerous Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits
  • Is less likely to provoke asthma or allergy attacks
  • Is not a breeding ground for the MRSA (staph) bacteria
  • Is lead free
  • Is 100% recyclable

As a fair comparison, there are environmental benefits with natural grass. See The Benefits of Natural Grass article.