California, hit hard by record drought, has become fertile ground for artificial grass. Here are some pros and cons of synthetic lawns.



A Greener Alternative to Natural Grass


Artificial Grass Takes Root in California - In-Text ImagesGreener, albeit fake, grass has quickly become an acceptable alternative to natural grass for many Californians. The artificial turf business in the Golden State is booming as a result, according to an article in The Washington Post. Those who want greener lawns without incurring the wrath of water conservationists or the state government, see artificial grass as a smart solution.



What’s Driving Growth?


Whats Driving GrowthGovernor Jerry Brown last year ordered the state’s first mandatory watering restrictions in history. Lawn watering typically accounts for one-third of urban water use, so lawns are a natural choice for reducing water consumption. Since the restrictions took effect, business has grown nonstop for local turf manufacturers and retailers.



Who’s Buying It?


Whos Buying ItThe market ranges from celebrities to the middle-class – pretty much anyone who values a greener lawn while staying within the state’s stringent watering restrictions. Those who’ve tried artificial grass claim newer versions far surpass the original AstroTurf, bearing a much closer resemblance to lush, natural grass – only without the constant need for watering and mowing.



Who’s Not Buying It?


Whos Not Buying ItNot everyone thinks artificial grass is a good solution. Oddly, they cite the environment as the reason. Many conservation groups insist that artificial turf does little to foster soil health. Nor is it easily recycled. Some argue it can lead to excessive water runoff. To add to these concerns, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun an investigation into the possible health risks of artificial turf used on playing fields.



Another recent Easy Energy Saving Tips article discusses rain barrels as another method of conserving water. You can learn more about installing artificial grass with step-by-step instructions from DIY Network. Or, find out more about the potential health risks from the EPA.