It appears that nowadays artificial grass is fantastic quality, highly realistic and more popular than ever before. The popularity probably comes about because year-on-year people are distancing themselves from nature because of urban sprawl and humankind’s natural propensity to become an orphan from nature, and their origins. Perhaps they don’t want to think about their origins. Humankind likes to box up what it considers to be its ugly animal instincts.
Having got that introduction out of the way, fake turf is highly convenient. But what about the wildlife that comes onto a normal lawn and enjoys the moment? What about the insects who live on lawns and the worms who live below it? What about the badgers, foxes, pigeons, squirrels and all the other animals who like to scamper around the real thing even it is rather moth eaten and abused by the glaring sun and a global warming Britain?
They can’t enjoy it any more. And modern day Astroturf is made of plastic of some kind or other. I think it’s made of nylon or polyethylene. Does fake turf shed minute plastic particles into the ground? Do these plastic microparticles get washed into watercourses and out to sea where they find their way to the bottom of the oceans? We know that plastic pollution in the oceans is dire. You find these minute particles literally everywhere on the four corners of the Earth.
And when your fake turf needs replacing what happens to it? It has to going to landfill. Yet another item in landfill. When do we stop burying waste? When do we run out of space? And does plastic in landfill gradually leach out chemicals into the surrounding soil? Do these chemicals leach into watercourses and ultimately out to sea?
People are more concerned about the environment these days. People are becoming knowledgeable about the polluting aspects of plastic. They should resist buying modern Astroturf for their lawn. Put up with the inconvenience of a real thing for the sake of wildlife. I would rather have a slightly unkept back lawn which wildlife can enjoy than a beautifully neat, highly polished artificial substitute any day. Take pleasure in the knowledge that you are helping wildlife.
We have an obligation to think of others, namely the animals who live around us, who have to try and fit in to our urban sprawl due to continuing population growth. When will that finish?
Think of the disappointment in hedgehogs, and other wildlife who are used to walking on your lawn when they encounter the plastic stuff. They’ll be confused, disenchanted, depressed and they will disappear. Do you want that?