Going green,
staying green
by Sindi Somers | San Diego Pets
01:57 PM, Friday, July 01
Although natural is often considered better than artificial, in some cases, mother nature can actually be improved upon. One example of this is synthetic lawns. They have come a long way since being first introduced, including now having a more realistic look and feel.

Some companies, including San Diego based EasyTurf have products deemed safer and more environmentally friendly than natural grass. EasyTurf materials, which include grass made of either polyethylene or polypropylene, are non-toxic and hypo-allergenic. Later this year they will be introducing a new product, which uses recycled coke bottles to create the “yarn” to make blades of grass. EasyTurf is the only company in North America with the rights to use this innovative material.

Synthhetic lawns diminishes issues found with natural grass, including lessening the need for chemical treatments that pose risks to people, pets and the environment. It has no need for fertilizer. Weeds including “foxtails“ are also minimized, along with the need for weed killing agents. It is important to note that foxtails are a hazard to San Diego canines. If ingested or they enter the skin of a dog, expensive vet visits, surgery and in some cases death will result. According to Jackie Luper, Marketing Director for EasyTurf, their products have provided a solution to foxtails for many Southern California customers.

Also troublesome are fleas, which can live comfortably in natural grass. Luper states, “EasyTurf lawns do not provide an attractive home for fleas or any insect.“ This reduction in the flea population, also lessens the usage of toxic pesticides.

Rabbits and other animals can also create challenges. Rabbits may feast on grass and then eliminate. Luper says rabbits may initially try to eat EasyTurf, but since it is not real grass, the problem is resolved. She further explains, if gophers are present in a yard, “gopher wire” can be placed under the EasyTurf. It doesn’t harm the gopher, but acts as a barrier so they can’t push up through the ground and through the synthetic lawn.

Water conservation is another plus of synthetic lawns. If you currently water your lawn regularly, you could save up to 70% on your water bill by making the switch, according to Luper. She says that not only is EasyTurf going to stay green year round without watering, but they have yet to find any substance that will fade or stain it, including dog urine.

When needed, the process of cleaning your pet’s favorite potty areas is simple. Plain water can be used effectively. Many animal rescues and shelters, including the San Diego Humane Society have installed EasyTurf. The San Diego Humane Society is able to sanitize the artificial grass area easily and quickly. This is necessary because a variety of boarded dogs share the lawn. According to Luper, the San Diego Humane Society uses a solution of bleach and water to help avoid the spread of disease among their canine population.

Although the synthetic grass doesn’t need watering to be maintained, drainage is an important component, especially with pets Originally, artificial lawns had inadequate drainage systems. EasyTurf now uses a proprietary method of 100% permeable solid backing design with 100% recyclable plastic drains. EasyTurf drains faster than any of its competitors and even faster than natural grass. Thorough drainage helps lessen the existence of mud.

Not only can their drains be recycled, but Luper reports all materials used for EasyTurf lawns are 100% recyclable. She adds, most if not all synthetic lawn companies now use recyclable materials. However, EasyTurf goes one step further by being the only company with their own infrastructure to recycle and reuse their turf.

Customers of EasyTurf have the choice of using this recycled turf as the infill for their lawn. Infill helps hold the blades of grass upright, as well as effecting the feel. They may instead choose sand, crumb rubber from recycled tires or a combination of the two.

In many instances EasyTurf can be installed in one day. For larger areas an installation may take up to three days. Once complete, the lawn is ready to be used immediately. Although EasyTurf has a ten year warranty, the life expectancy is between fifteen and twenty years. Dog induced damage is not covered in the warranty, but it is also unlikely to happen. If digging is a concern, EasyTurf can double secure the lawn at the borders. Dogs may try to dig, but in most cases realize they can't and give up. Luper says, each year a handful of dogs continue until they succeed at which point EasyTurf can come re-attach the lawn.

EasyTurf was started ten years ago by David Hartman. When FieldTurf, the leader in artificial grass for sports fields world wide decided to expand they were impressed with how successful Hartman’s southern California business was. Instead of “reinventing the wheel,“ says Luper, FieldTurf approached Hartman who then sold them his company. Hartman still runs EasyTurf as President.



For information about EasyTurf call 866-EASYTURF or visit them online at www.sdpets.easyturf.com.

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