Just How Green Is Faux Grass?

By Sara Schaefer Munoz

Wall Street Journal

Jude Albanese doesn’t pay a landscaper or run lots of sprinklers to maintain his lawn. He has retired his mower, and he doesn’t use fertilizer. Yet the grass in front of his New Jersey home looks so lush that some passersby feel the need to bend down and touch it.

The reason is simple: The grass is fake.

“You want to enjoy your yard, but it was always work and upkeep,” says the Nutley, N.J., homeowner, who had JM Synthetic Grass Surfacing install his faux lawn last month. “Now it’s much cleaner and neater. I should have done this years ago.”

The synthetic-turf industry, known for AstroTurf and other versions of faux grass in stadiums and on athletic fields, is increasingly targeting the residential market. For several years, people have been turning to faux lawns in areas of the Southwest to conserve water. Now, manufacturers are increasingly pitching them to homeowners around the country who are fed up with maintenance, allergies, or muddy paw prints all over the house from the family dog. Artificial turf is convenient, the companies say, and moreover, it saves water and cuts down on fertilizer use.

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