Archive for January, 2009

NewGrass a Hit at California Green Schools Expo

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

California’s schools are looking to go green, and they recently got a good look at how NewGrass® artificial grass can help them conserve water and still have safe, environmentally friendly and green landscaping year-round.

NewGrass® synthetic lawn was pleased to be among the exhibitors at the recent Green California Schools Summit and Exposition in Anaheim. The three-day event was organized by Green Technology, a non-profit initiative that seeks to inform government decisions toward sustainability and provide a forum in which government can communicate with the private sector.

The goal of this summit was to bring together school officials and contractors involved in implementing green building initiatives with businesses that can provide them with products and services. NewGrass, represented by NewGrass Landscape & Design, was proud to be among those businesses.

“We got a great response from the visitors and from the other exhibitors,” said Larry Reno, California District Manager for NewGrass Landscape & Design. “People liked it. They liked that we are lead-safe and don’t use crumb rubber infill. They’d heard about these issues and were wondering about them.”

NewGrass® also participated in a special seminar conducted the top green initiative representatives for the Los Angeles Unified School District. The district operates 1,072 schools, centers and occupational skill centers with more than 694,000 students, and it expects to build a school a month over the next two years.

“In addition to the green initiative and the environmental issues of new construction, they are looking at anything that’s going to save them money in the long run,” Reno said. “NewGrass® is a natural for meeting that challenge wherever they need grass.”

And the money is there for that work. When California voters passed Proposition 1D, they allocated $100 million dollars to help fund the design and construction of energy efficient, healthy school facilities for the California public school system.

“We expect to be a part of the solution of helping California build healthy, sustainable schools,” Reno said.

NewGrass 100% Poly Fiber: It Just Makes Sense

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

When stories broke earlier this year about potentially unhealthy levels of lead in some artificial grass playing fields, NewGrass® synthetic lawns took the matter seriously. NewGrass® looked at its own products – had them tested – and was pleased with what they learned.

NewGrass® has always taken seriously its mission to be the artificial grass of choice when being water-wise and eco-friendly are as important as having more green lawn to enjoy year-round. Environmental responsibility was one reason that even before the lead scare NewGrass® stopped selling grass made with nylon blades. Its blades are 100% polyethylene.

From the get-go, NewGrass® wanted a synthetic grass that not only conserves water and reduces lawn maintenance, but is also truly earth-friendly. For example, it wanted NewGrass® to be recyclable. The company knew that nylon was an impediment to having a truly recyclable and bio-degradable product.

That is one of the reasons NewGrass® has blades of 100% polyethylene fiber. Polyethylene is a recyclable product. NewGrass® believes polyethylene also makes a more durable and more attractive fake grass than nylon fibers.

When potentially unhealthy levels of lead dust in some artificial grass playing fields were reported early last summer by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS), the federal Centers for Disease Control issued a health advisory. The CDC did not confirm the findings. But it did expand on them.

The CDC stressed, for example, that the New Jersey study “indicated” that potentially unsafe levels of lead dust were found only in athletic fields of fake grass that are old, used frequently and exposed to the weather, because their blades break down into dust as the fibers are worn.

However, the next day, the CDC went further and issued a follow-up statement that underscored the commitment by NewGrass® to environmental responsibility and further validated its choice to use only polyethylene fibers in its artificial grass.

The CDC said the New Jersey studies indicated that nylon or nylon/polyethylene blend fake grass contained “levels of lead that pose a potential public health concern.” On the other hand, the CDC reported that the same tests found that fields made with fake grass of 100% polyethylene fibers – like NewGrass® – “contained very low levels of lead.”

Within weeks, the debate over lead and artificial grass swept the nation and came to a head in California, where several synthetic grass companies were named in a class action suit by a national nonprofit consumer protection group.

Being proactive, NewGrass® asked the California attorney general’s office to test its grass. The state did and determined that NewGrass® 100% polyethylene lawn is “lead safe.”

“We’ve always taken the responsible approach,” said NewGrass President Greg Goehner. “It’s our mission. The fact that poly lawn is lead-safe is not why we chose it in the first place. But it’s indicative of how we do business.”

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