Archive for the 'Eco News' Category

How NewGrass is Solving Today’s Water Problem

Friday, November 13th, 2015
half full water over cracked earth representing danger of drought

As efforts continue to manage water resources in the midst of this fourth year of the worst drought on record, artificial grass, NewGrass®, is one of the easiest way to eliminate a huge portion of your monthly water consumption. This is a hard fact; the numbers don’t lie.

As Americans, we use a lot of water…no doubt far too much on our lawns. In fact, it has been estimated that our water footprint as a country is nearly double the world’s yearly average. To put it in perspective: the United States Geological Survey, we collectively use an average of 410 billion gallons of water, per day. Yikes!

Now think of ways that you personally can do your part to lower this astronomical amount of daily water consumption. Is your lawn (literally) sucking everything dry each day? If you’re like the majority of Americans, yes. We love our real green lawns. Maybe artificial grass will become a more realistic option after taking a look at these facts:

-According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, it is estimated that each square foot of natural grass requires 55 gallons of water per year.

The Synthetic Turf Council website says that the average lawn is approximately 1,800 square feet.

-NewGrass ® artificial grass requires no water at all to stay green and healthy-looking, summer through winter.

-By replacing an 1,800 square foot lawn with NewGrass ® artificial grass, you can reduce your water consumption by 99,000 gallons of water every year! (How many dollars off your water bill does that equate to?!)

It’s pretty simple: our planet has limited resources and we’re addicted to carelessly using precious things like water to keep our lawns looking nice. Taking clean, accessible water in abundance for granted is an easy way to draw out this lengthy water crisis longer than necessary. Artificial grass from NewGrass ® is one product that is working to solve the water crisis happening in our country. Do your part, switch to environmentally-friendly NewGrass ®.


FACING BIG WATER CHALLENGES, SMALL ACTIONS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Venerated UCLA basketball coach John Wooden knew a thing or two about the power of small actions — and his wisdom could help ease California’s water shortage.

“It’s the little details that are vital,” said Wooden, who won 10 NCAA championships in 12 years. “Little things make big things happen.”

California’s water crisis is getting worse, and asking residents politely to curb their use of the precious commodity isn’t getting the job done. The state’s water regulators earlier this month approved fines of up to $500 a day for residents who waste water on lawns, landscaping and car washing. Why? Because a statewide survey by the same agency, the State Water Resources Control Board, found that water consumption statewide has actually risen amid the worst drought in nearly four decades.

It may not be long before other parts of the country face the same challenge. The oppressive drought in the United States ranges from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean and is affecting about one-third of the country and 73 million people, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Drought Monitor report.

Maybe more Californians and people nationwide should take Coach Wooden’s advice and think small when it comes to conserving water. Want some examples? Consider using NewGrass® or another fully lifelike, water-saving artificial grass in small places.

Airbnb has selected to NewGrass for most of its pop-up parks at entertain events where it offers visitors and locals alike respite with what the company describes as “games, refreshments, unexpected acts of hospitality, and special events to attendees.”

Linden Park in Oakland, used by the North Oakland Community Charter School (NOCCS) for its recess, has turned a dry, hard-dirt play area into a safe, clean play area year-round thanks to NewGrass, installed by 1st Impression Synthetic Lawns & Greens.

“It’s a great project that we’re proud to be part of, and it really shows how small things can make a big difference, and in a lot of different ways,” said Jason Webb, president of 1st Impression.

In New York City synthetic grass provides the floor covering for Soaked, a skyscraper-topping, outdoor bar atop the Mondrian SoHo hotel. NewGrass® has provided the ground cover for Park Here, a 0.1-acre temporary indoor pop-up park in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan, north of Little Italy and Chinatown, and has landscaped balcony terraces of the ultra-modern Trump Place.

NewGrass has also been used as part of PARK(ing) Day, an annual worldwide event in which artists, designers and neighbors transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.

“We agree with Coach Wooden, that little actions can have a big impact,” said NewGrass President Gregory Goehner. “It’s like [State Water Control Board] chairwoman Felicia Marcus said when her agency approved the new fines: ‘Every action, from taking a shorter shower, to putting a lawn on a water diet, to replacing turf with drought-tolerant landscaping, contributes to every community’s water security.’”


Steps to Water Conservation Are Right Under Your Feet

Monday, February 17th, 2014

When President Barack Obama pledged on Valentine’s Day to speed federal assistance to California to help it recover from a crippling drought, he was talking about aid for the state’s farmers and livestock producers. Barely a month earlier, Gov. Jerry Brown urged all Californians to reduce water consumption by 20 percent.

Whether you’re a farmer in California’s Central Valley or a commuter in Los Angeles, San Diego or any other community served by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — in fact, regardless of where you live anywhere in the United States — NewGrass® and similar, high-quality synthetic lawns offer a simple approach to water conservation.

The E.P.A. estimates the average U.S. household devotes a third of its water consumption to outdoor watering. NewGrass® artificial grass requires no watering. And because NewGrass® synthetic lawn eliminates the need for lawn pesticides and fertilizers, it also helps protects ground water and storm drainage systems.

Even if you’re a homeowner considering xeriscape landscaping, NewGrass® gives you the option of including lush, green lawn as part of your eco-friendly, super-water-wise ground design.

“NewGrass® gives any traditional or xeriscape design another dimension of texture, beauty and healthy green color all year round, and in any climate,” said company president Gregory Goehner.


California is not alone in facing persistent drought conditions — which means Californians are not alone in being able to benefit from water-wise, eco-friendly landscaping alternatives like NewGrass®.

According to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center, drought is expected to worsen or be at least persistent into the spring across the Pacific Northwest, interior West and Southwest, northwest Iowa, southern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“The ongoing drought conditions in California and elsewhere in the country only reinforce the need for families and commercial property owners to reconsider the best use of the precious commodity that water is,” Goehner said.

“The drought also makes people think harder about the money they spend on traditional turf landscaping that needs to be constantly watered in season, as well as reseeded, fertilized and weeded — and isn’t even usable during times of harsh or wet weather.”


More Communities, Public Agencies Fighting Pesticide Use

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Public agencies, homeowner associations and local and state governments from coastal Maine to North Carolina to Alaska are increasingly restricting the use of lawn chemicals to protect drinking water supplies, streams and rivers.

It’s a concern that environmentally safe NewGrass artificial grass removes completely, because it requires no fertilizers and it nearly eliminates the need for pesticides.
“It’s just common sense, that if you’re concerned about protecting your groundwater, streams and lakes – and protecting your children’s health – you’ll at least reduce if not eliminate the use of many kinds of chemical pesticides and fertilizers,” said Greg Goehner, president of NewGrass. “NewGrass gives you the opportunity to get rid of those chemicals and still have a green lawn to enjoy year-round.”

Several coastal towns in Maine have adopted restrictions on lawn chemicals. Other restrictions have been enacted by New York State Parks, Chicago City Parks, 29 communities and townships in New Jersey, at least 17 cities in the Northwest covering more than 50 parks and communities throughout Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut, according to various news reports and consumer awareness Web sites.

• In July, the city of Anchorage canceled plans to spray the herbicides 2, 4-D and dicamba on the Town Square Park, citing concerns over the safety of children playing in the park.

• In June, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation initiated the “Be Green Organic Yard NY,” a program in which participating businesses agree to avoid synthetic pesticides.

• In May, a 9-year-old environmental activist in Boulder, Colo., organized about two dozen children to protest the potential use of herbicides in front of the Boulder County Courthouse, after an advisory committee had approved two new herbicides for use on city parks.

• The City of Redmond, Wash., in its Annual Report on Your Drinking Water, earlier this year urged residents to use organic fertilizers and to “think twice before using pesticides.

“Overuse of chemical pesticides and fertilizers can damage beneficial soil life and wash off into streams, lakes or our aquifer, where it can harm plants or animals or someday show up in the water supply,” the Redmond report says.

Based on extensive and documented research into 30 of the most commonly used lawn pesticides by the public interest organization Beyond Pesticides, 14 are probable or possible carcinogens, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 15 with neurotoxicity, 26 with liver or kidney damage, and 27 are sensitizers and/or irritants.

“The most popular and widely used lawn chemical 2,4-D, which kills broad leaf weeds like dandelions, is an endocrine disruptor with predicted human health risks ranging from changes in estrogen and testosterone levels, thyroid problems, prostate cancer and reproductive abnormalities. 2,4-D has also been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” the organization reports.

Other lawn chemicals like glyphosate (RoundUp) have also been linked to serious adverse chronic effects in humans. Imidacloprid, another pesticide growing in popularity, has been implicated in bee toxicity and the recent Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) phenomena, according to Beyond Pesticides.


New York City Confirms What NewGrass Believes: Safer to Avoid Crumb Rubber

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

New York City recently put a halt to using crumb rubber infill on artificial lawns in its parks and school yards – even though the debate continues over the health risk that crumb rubber poses.

That’s the position NewGrass eco-friendly synthetic lawn and its distributors took several months ago when they switched to an environmentally safe, silicon-based infill.

NewGrass and New York City officials concede the jury remains out on the degree of risk from lead exposure to controversial crumb rubber infill (it’s made from recycled tires). But there’s another health concern that prompted New York City to stop using the stuff. City health officials believe crumb rubber could be unsafe when it heats up on hot days.

Like NewGrass and its authorized distributors in the New York area, New York City has chosen that going forward, it would rather be safe than sorry.

Dandelion Putting Greens, in Hopewell Junction, installs NewGrass® synthetic lawns using GreenFill, an environmentally friendly infill alternative, says company owner Frank Vitritti.

The debate over crumb rubber infill is being waged among environmental groups, concerned parent organizations, the rubber industry and some members of the synthetic grass industry.

“We’d rather err on the side of being responsible when it comes to public health,” Vitritti said.
New York City has no plans to remove existing crumb rubber in its 95 existing fields. One exception is a city soccer field that was closed in December when tests found elevated levels of lead.

“We believe it’s most likely some external contamination,” Assistant Health Commissioner Nancy Clark told the New York Daily News.

Activists and some legislators, however, have called the New York City fields potentially toxic and demanded removal, at an estimated cost of up to $1 million per field.

First Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh told a City Council panel recently that it will replace crumb rubber as part of the normal 10-year renovation cycle of the city’s fields.


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.”


An Eco-Friendly Lawn Does More then Save Water

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Winter is just around the corner, and that’s a reminder that spring landscaping plans aren’t far behind. As you consider what to do differently next year, think about creating a truly healthy lawn – a lawn that’s environmentally friendly as well as healthy for pets, children and wildlife.

You may think your lawn is not important in the big scheme of protecting the environment or being eco-friendly. But consider this: When added up, all of the lawns across the United States would cover the state of Ohio.

Needless to say, that much natural turf grass requires a lot of water, pesticides and fertilizers.

“How we manage our lawns affects the health of our children, pets, wildlife and water quality,” according to Lynn Markham, a land use specialist with the Center for Land Use Education at the University of Wisconsin.

Markham suggests three steps for creating a lawn that’s healthy of the environment and for your pets and family. NewGrass® couldn’t agree more.

Avoid using pesticides. Pesticides are potentially harmful to children, pets and wildlife. Also, they can be tracked into the house or leach into the groundwater. NewGrass® requires no pesticides if it has been properly installed and the base material properly prepared.

If you must fertilize, avoid phosphorus. Phosphorous accelerates algae growth in lakes and rivers, and lawn fertilizer is a major source of phosphorous in our waters. Markham writes that fertilizing the lawn of a typical half-acre lot could add more than 50 pounds of phosphorous to that yard each year. Eco-friendly NewGrass® of course requires no fertilizer at all. In addition, it is lead-safe, and 100% recyclable with polyethylene blades and a bio-based backing.

Get small. Reduce your turf grass footprint. Plant more trees, shrubs, wildflowers and tall grasses, and consider installing synthetic lawn particularly in areas that are hard to maintain or require unusually high amounts of water, pesticides or fertilizer.


NewGrass May Help Builders Gain LEED Credits

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Fort Worth, Texas – As demand grows for green building materials, NewGrass® synthetic lawns have the potential to help builders and contractors obtain advantageous credits toward green building certification.

Buildings that are LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) obviously have marketing and public relations advantages in today’s eco-aware environment. In addition, they cost less to operate, have higher occupancy rates, enhance occupant health and increase return on investment, according to studies from the U.S. Green Building Council, which developed and manages the system.

NewGrass® is also proud to announce that it is a U.S. Green Building Council national member.

The Council’s LEED rating system has become the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance “green buildings.” The Council says the system gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance, including site development, water savings, energy efficiency and materials selection.

The LEED system defines the requirements to achieve prerequisites and voluntary points toward certification in several different categories, including New Construction and Major Renovations (a category for Homes is still under development, and the category for Schools is based on the New Construction ratings system).

With its EnviroCel™ backings, NewGrass® may contribute to total ratings under LEED credit for New Construction in the following categories:

  • Water Efficiency Credit 1.1. – Water Efficient Landscaping: reduce by 50%
  • Water Efficiency Credit 1.2 – Water Efficient Landscaping: no potable water use or no irrigation
  • Water Efficiency Credit 2.1 – Construction Waste Management: divert 50% from disposal
  • Materials & Resources Credit 2.2 – Construction Waste Management: Divert 75% from disposal
  • Materials & Resources Credit 3.1 – Materials Reuse: 5%
  • Materials & Resources 3.2 – Materials Reuse: 10%
  • Materials & Resources Credit 3.2 – Materials Reuse: 10%
  • Materials & Resources Credit 4.1 – Recycled Content: 10% (post-consumer plus ½ pre-consumer)
  • Materials & Resources Credit 4.2 – Recycled Content: 20% (post-consumer plus ½ pre-consumer)
  • Materials & Resources Credit 5.1 – Regional Materials: 10% extracted, processed and manufactured regionally
  • Materials & Resources Credit 5.2 – Regional Materials: 20% extracted, processed and manufactured regionally

It’s important to note that LEED ratings are based on project’s total point score, not only on its buildings materials. For example, under New Construction, the Water Efficiency Credit 1.1, for Water Efficient Landscaping, requires the entire project to reduce water use by 50%.
NewGrass® is proud to be an ally in the EPA’s GreensScape Program and the only artificial lawn that is Certified 100% Eco-Friendly, from the way it is manufactured to the company’s pledge to properly recycle any NewGrass® lawn at the end of its usable life, at no cost to the customer.


NewGrass Unveils Certified 100% Eco-Friendly Commitment

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Fort Worth, Texas – With major new initiatives that improve its products and enhance customer care, NewGrass® has strengthened its commitment to being green in every sense of the word.

NewGrass®, the artificial grass solution when water conservation and being environmentally conscious are as important as having a green lawn year-round, is now Certified100% Eco-Friendly. From the way its synthetic lawns are manufactured to the way they are ultimately recycled many years later, NewGrass® is acting on a promise to be a truly earth-friendly company.

The NewGrass® Certified 100% Eco-Friendly Pledge is being launched with three basic components: changes in the way NewGrass® is made and installed, actively supporting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and pledging to properly recycle NewGrass® at the end of its life at no cost to the customer.

“NewGrass® has always been a water-conservation alternative, safe for children, wonderful for dogs and of course, never needed pesticides, so it’s always helped reduce ground water pollution,” said company President Greg Goehner. “But we believed we could do more. We want to offer an environmentally safe product and be more active as good stewards of the environment.”

Made with Renewable and Recycled Resources; Totally Recyclable
NewGrass® has a new backing that replaces over 90 percent of the oil-based compounds found on previous generations with bio-based compounds that are derived from domestically-grown soybeans – a renewable resource!

On the ground, the NewGrass® backing offers greatly improved drainage. This results in longer life for the backing, as well as for the grass blades and any infill. It also means faster and more consistent drainage, which is better for the aggregate base underneath a NewGrass® installation, as well as for the surrounding landscaping.

The blades of NewGrass® now incorporate post-consumer polyethyene. That makes them – and the entire product – 100 percent recyclable.

When it comes to installing its lawns, NewGrass® is now offering GreenFill, the only product developed specifically as infill for synthetic grass applications. GreenFill is a color-coated, clean and dust-free bead of environmentally safe and friendly silicon dioxide. Silicon dioxide is found naturally in various forms, including in quartz, opal, sand flint, and agate.

GreenFill’s unique coating clings to the tiny cracks in the silica and is chemically bonded to its surface. The result is an artificial grass infill that is very strong, sanitary, reusable and does not attract water (heightening its anti-microbial features).

The NewGrass® Carbon-Offset Pledge
For every square foot of NewGrass® installed, the company is making a donation to the Carbon Fund, a non-profit organization that is leading the fight against global-warming climate change.

These contributions further support the NewGrass® commitment to a safer, greener environment and the reduction of harmful carbon dioxide emissions. Donations help the Carbon Fund promote climate change education, carbon offsets and reductions, and public outreach. They also help NewGrass® actively reduce its carbon footprint.

In addition, every square foot of NewGrass® helps reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That’s because every NewGrass® installation means increased domestic soybean production, which in turn improves air quality by consuming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The NewGrass® Remove & Recycle Pledge
NewGrass® carries a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty. But if a customer ever wants to take up their NewGrass® lawn at the end of its useful life, the company will remove it free of charge for recycling.


NewGrass Accepted as U.S. EPA GreenScapes Alliance Ally

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Fort Worth, Texas – NewGrass® is proud that the U.S. EPA recently accepted it as an Ally in the agency’s GreenScapes Alliance.

Greenscapes Partnership

GreenScapes is a partnership program to help preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution. It encourages partner businesses, government agencies and other entities to make more holistic decisions regarding the use of the land, water, pesticides and energy.

GreenScapes promotes practices and products that meet consumers’ needs, but have better environmental profiles than current methods. NewGrass® synthetic lawn is exactly that kind of product, said company President Greg Goehner.

NewGrass® is the artificial grass of choice when water conservation and being environmentally conscious are as important as having a green lawn year-round. GreensScape’s goal is to help the public “find better yet flexible ways to conserve valuable natural resources, prevent pollution and be a voice for change in the industry.”

“NewGrass® is one of only a few synthetic grass companies to make this commitment,” Goehner said. “To us, being selected as an Ally with the EPA’s GreensScapes Alliance validates our commitment to being 100% eco-friendly.”

As a GreenScapes Ally, NewGrass® joins professional groups, trade associations, research organizations and product manufacturers or marketers nationwide working with their affiliated organizations to promote greater use of GreenScapes activities.


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