Archive for March, 2010

What’s More Green, NewGrass or Turf Grass?

Monday, March 29th, 2010

If you think natural sod grass is greener than artificial grass, you ought to think again. If being green means being environmentally conscious while saving and protecting natural resources, NewGrass synthetic lawn gets the green vote.

Think about the amount of water a turf grass requires. Traditional turf lawns such as Kentucky bluegrass, fescue and Bermuda grass drink up as much as 60% of a homeowner’s water consumption. NewGrass and other fake grasses require no water. That’s a major consideration everywhere today, but particularly in so many of the areas, like California, facing ongoing drought conditions.

Then think about the gasoline used to fuel a power mower (whether you do it or pay a yard service), not only costing you money but devouring a non-renewable resource and spewing carbon gas emissions into the air. Even if you use an electric mower, well, you’re using electricity usually generated by coal or nuclear fuel. You never need to mow a NewGrass lawn.

What about keeping your lawn free of weeds and insects? Keeping a lawn well-maintained usually means applying synthetic fertilizers, poisons and other chemicals green. These don’t stay on the lawn, but often find their way into the storm water runoff. A properly installed NewGrass artificial grass requires no insecticides or herbicides.

Even the U.S. Green Building Council thinks synthetic lawns like NewGrass are greener than turf grass. The Council includes artificial grass in its suggestions for landscaping alternatives that can help a building project meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which qualifies builders and cities for tax credits.

The bottom line, financially speaking: A NewGrass synthetic lawn installed in Southern California, for example, can be expected to show a return on investment in less that 4½ years, based with data from actual customers, according to Greg Goehner, NewGrass president.

One NewGrass family in the Los Angeles area broke down their annual expenses for maintaining their old 600-square-foot turf lawn like this:

Watering ($.009 per gallon, estimating 50 gallons per square foot annually): $270
Gardner ($145 per month total yard; $40 allocated to backyard): $480
Fertilizer ($6 per month average): $72
Weed killer ($4 per month average): $48
Bug killer ($6 per month average): $72
Irrigation repair/ parts ($3 per month): $36
Tearout and resodding ($1.25 per square foot, or $750 every two years): $375
Total Sod Lawn Maintenance Cost per Year: $1,353
Total Cost of Maintaining Sod Grass over 4.5 Years: $6,088

The environmental return on investment is meanwhile measured by the amount of water it saves, by the synthetic fertilizers and insecticides it prevents from entering local water systems, and the carbon emissions eliminated when gas-powered lawn equipment isn’t used.

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