The argument against artificial turf

I'm dismayed that the Crescenta Valley Water District would increase rebates for artificial turf. It would be much better for the planet if they banned the plastic grass and concentrated on encouraging their customers to replace thirsty lawns with drought-tolerant plants.

The use of unnatural, ugly plastic turf, manufactured from petroleum and/or used tires, emits toxic chemicals into the soil and air, poisoning the environment. It does not allow as much rainwater to soak back into the ground and replenish the aquifer as does xeriscaping, and does not generate any oxygen. Fake grass needs water to clean off animal waste and polluting leaf blowers to remove the natural debris that blows around our windy valley. Plus it generates heat islands, creating more evaporation and loss of precious water. It has been associated with increased asthma, particularly in children.

While the appearance of the phony grass has improved over the years, it is still obviously not real. In short, it's an extremely poor substitute for natural native plants that not only provide beauty and shelter for birds and butterflies, but also generate oxygen to nurture pets and humans.

Sharon Weisman

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