Five Reasons to Think About Where the Kids Will Play Come Fall and Winter

August 11, 2015

While summer may still be with us, in addition to vacations and sunburn, it brings five good reminders about why you should consider replacing your turf lawn or gravel or dirt play area with natural-feeling, low-maintenance artificial grass like NewGrass®:

  1. You’re already tired of the hassles — and costs — that go along with watering and maintaining your turf lawn.
  2. Worse, you’re already sad over seeing your natural sod grass wither under the rules of local water restrictions.
  3. Your gravel or dirt play areas have turned to messy mud lots during the rains (and they’ll be hard as rock come winter).
  4. Your children have suffered injuries on those same play areas — or on the lawn.
  5. The grass that’s great for romping on is making everyone’s allergies go off the charts.

1. The hassles and costs of watering and maintaining your lawn. WaterSense, an EPA partnership program, estimates that nationwide, irrigating home landscapes accounts for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day. In some regions, like California and the Southwest, as much as 60 percent of home’s water bill goes to keeping lawns and gardens green.

The Earth Institute at Columbia University reports that for lawns in the United States, we use 580 million gallons of gasoline for lawnmowers and spend:

  • $25 billion for the lawn care industry
  • $5.25 million on fossil fuel-derived fertilizers
  • $700 million on 67 million pounds of synthetic pesticides

2. Droughts and the expansion of water restrictions.
NewGrass® applauds and supports water conservation nationwide. Water is, after all, among our most important natural resources — and the one for which we haven’t found a man-made or natural option. In response to ongoing draught conditions and calls for water conservation, local water districts, regional government authorities, and states from coast to coast have implemented drastic residential watering restrictions.

3. The mess of gravel and dirt play areas in rainy or snowy weather. A study published by JAMA Pediatrics found that nearly half of all U.S. preschoolers don’t even have one chance each day to play outdoors under a parent’s supervision. And that’s in good weather!
“Preschool age children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day,” says the report’s author, Pooja Tandon, MD, MPH, of Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “But many preschoolers are not meeting that recommendation. Young children need more opportunities to play outdoors and to help them be more active.”

NewGrass® is an eco-friendly, natural-looking and incredibly safe alternative to any other kind of surface under play sets. It eliminates the kind of injuries a child can suffer from a fall on gravel, sand or dirt and NewGrass® is tested lead-safe.

Sand and wood chips create cushioned surfaces, but both are messy, scatter easily, routinely need to be replenished and are unusable after a snowfall or heavy rain.

4. Injuries on turf grass and gravel play areas. More than 500,000 children a year are injured on playground equipment, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Three-fourths of playground injuries are attributed to falls, so choosing an appropriate surface is the most important playground decision that school officials will make.

Obviously, the same is true when considering a surface for a play area at home. In fact, about one-fourth of all serious playground injuries occur in the backyard, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Children aren’t the only victims of injuries related to turf grass and play areas. The Earth Institute says 60,000 to 70,000 severe accidents result from lawnmowers every year.

5. Allergies and other ailments spawned by sod grass. Itchy eyes and nose, nasal discharge, blocked nasal passages, sinus headache, sneezing, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath are all symptoms of allergies caused by dust, mold, pollen, grass and trees.
Allergies have no cure. Prevention is the only course of action – trying to eliminate or minimize a child’s exposure to allergens. Another option obviously is synthetic grass. NewGrass® for example, has fibers that are broadloom-tufted from high-quality polyethylene, a component not considered an allergen.

Play areas covered by sand and wood chips, they can attract cats, which consider these coverings to be one big litter box.

It’s Summer and Time for NewGrass Cool Blade Synthetic Grass

July 7, 2015

With the heat of summer here, we’re sure to again hear one of the annual arguments against artificial grass: that it tends to get hotter than natural turf under hot sun.

While that’s true, as NewGrass® has reported before, it’s also true that synthetic grass blades cool down very rapidly when the lawn is covered, put under shade, or watered even a little. One study, Evaluation of the Environmental Effects of Synthetic Turf, in fact found that, “rapid cooling of the fibers was noted if the sunlight was interrupted or filtered by clouds. Significant cooling was also noted if water was applied to the synthetic fibers in quantities as low as one ounce per square foot.”

It’s also true that synthetic grasses installed with eco-friendly infill become less hot on average compared with artificial lawns installed with traditional crumb-rubber infill. The Penn State Center for Sports Surface Research reported those findings in its Synthetic Turf Heat Evaluation Progress Report.

To bring even greater comfort to homeowners and others considering artificial grass, NewGrass is unveiling new varieties made with a special blend of yarns that are guaranteed to be less hot under the summer sun.

“When combined with an eco-friendly infill rather than traditional crumb rubber, NewGrass Supreme and Ultra with Cool Blade Technology, our latest NewGrass® varieties, will reduce surface heat by as much as 30 percent,” said NewGrass Co-Founder Gregory Goehner.

Just as with all NewGrass®, our Cool Blade yarns:

  • Resemble the look and feel of natural grass
  • Don’t need watering, weeding, or fertilizing
  • Are skin-friendly and UV stable
  • Require extremely low maintenance to remove debris and keep the blades lifted

The advantages of NewGrass with Cool Blades are even greater when installed with environmentally safe infills such as ZeoFill.

The debate over the safety of crumb rubber is being waged among environmental groups, concerned-parent organizations, the rubber industry and some members of the synthetic grass industry. But some cities – and NewGrass – argue that caution is the best path and advocate for the use of alternative infills.

“The combination of a summer-friendly yarn and a safe, cooler infill is a definite winning combination all the way around,” Goehner said.

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