artificial lawn

Action: Reject the idea of an artificial lawn

“Astroturf” and other brands of artificial grass might seem a good idea but did you know they bring major problems?

It looks tidy and might save you having to mow your lawn in the spring and summer months, but we would urge you to reject the idea of having an artificial lawn laid.

As they become more popular, and easily available in local DIY stores, more and more of our natural grass is being turned into a big plastic problem.

As well as being a highly unethical use of plastic, artificial lawns cause loads of environmental and other problems too:

  • it uses large amounts of plastic!
  • this plastic grass either can’t or won’t be recycled – it’s mixed plastics and very difficult to separate, clean and recycle
  • bits of plastic grass will pollute the soil for centuries as microplastics
  • it has a massive carbon foot print from manufacture and transport
  • digging out a real lawn stops locking carbon from the atmosphere
  • artificial lawns cause surface run off, contributing to flooding by overloading drains and sewers with too much water all at once; drainage through the plastic is slower than for real grass and the ground below is compacted
  • false turf kills soil life beneath it – the organisms like worms and microscopic animals that keep soil healthy
  • birds cannot pick out bugs and worms for food
  • the plastic deprives people of contact with a cool, beautiful natural surface
  • it reduces our broader contact with nature, especially children
  • they bring no wildlife benefit whatsoever! Even a short lawn contains wildlife; The charity Plantlife tell us that a lawn kept to around 10cm or thereabouts has even more wildflowers and supports bees, hoverflies and other pollinators
  • plastic lawns never looks really natural
  • they can retain the sun’s heat, making them overheat in summer, or even unusable
  • fake lawns still need cleaning and maintaining – brushing, washing and even vacuuming
  • some fake lawns can give friction burns
  • there are alternatives for soft surfaces for kids, including bark chip, and of course real grass!
  • an artificial lawn is a harder surface – you don’t want children falling off a swing onto fake grass!
  • there are better alternatives for wheelchairs or people with poor balance – such as effective paving amongst plants
  • maintenance of a real lawn is cheaper
  • if you still don’t want to maintain a real lawn, for the cost of a fake one you could hire someone to look after it for longer than it will take a fake lawn to look worn out and grubby. Even robot lawn mowers are only a fraction of the cost of having plastic installed
  • fake lawns look tatty after only a few years compared to other landscaping products

Why is this an important action?

This is an important action because the increasing popularity of artificial lawns is exacerbating all of the problems listed above. We are struggling with increased flood risks, faced with declining wildlife populations, losing contact with nature, polluting our world with plastic and adding to the CO2 problem.

Artificial lawns are a true eco-nightmare!

If you are thinking of using one, please re-read the list above, and please then choose a natural lawn.

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