Fake grass proves not so green

Are you a lawn lover? Do you cut your grass every week religiously? Are you proud of your front lawn?

Or… Do you hate that chore that you have to do every time it grows?

Maybe you have only a small patch to look after, and, well, it’s no big deal!

Once again, innovative companies are always finding new ways to make it easier to do things, and grass is one of those things.

Many years ago, synthetic or artificial grass came into being. For small areas, this was a way to have an area look good, stay green, no watering and no mowing, the ideal solution. BUT! It didn’t really look like grass. Earlier experiments produced the grass look — sort of — but fell short of the perfect look that fussy gardeners strive for.

Forward on a number of years, this “grass look” has improved dramatically, so much so that it’s used on bowls greens and other sporting pitches throughout the world.

The allure of evergreen sporting fields has seen the advent of the synthetic grass become an increasingly popular surface, driven by constraints on open space while population density increases.

But concerns about micro plastics, urban heat and chemical compounds being used have become a bone of contention for environmental and community groups, which are calling for the surface to be banned.

According to The Guardian, recent storm water sampling, which tested microplastic loss from a north-west Sydney turf field, showed that up to 70,000 particles of rubber crumb and more than 50,000 particles of synthetic grass were captured in a single trap sample.

Most fields don’t have a system to trap these particles and any runoff would be going straight into our waterways.

The amount of compounds in these plastics that make up the grass together with other chemicals included in tyres during manufacture make it a toxic time bomb.

According to one estimate, a typical synthetic soccer field requires at least 100 tonnes of of crumbed rubber — about 22,000 tyres’ worth.

There is a review from the NSW chief scientist and engineer, which contains 539 pages of information to the government on its dangers.

So like every new thing these days, it may be new, but is it better and in the long run is it best practice?

The other day I heard that one of the world’s favourite soft drinks originally had cocaine added in the beverage. Times have changed. Now, cocaine is a no no! It seems like every day new things are made for us to make our “lot” easier, but at what cost? We do not know all the stuff going into our food, what we wear, what we play on, it really makes one wonder.

When was the last time you looked at a label to see what ingredients were in the food you were buying?

Our gardens may be the way of the future. Till next time.

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