In San Francisco a battle rages between proponents of real grass and proponents of artificial turf. Right now, it appears that real grass is winning.
As many of us know, real lawns use up an inordinate amount of water (according to Popular Mechanics, the average home uses 66,175 gallons of water on their yards per year). In residential circumstances this can be remedied by eliminating lawns in favor of drought tolerant landscaping.
But what about public parks, soccer fields, baseball fields, etc.?
Is artificial turf a viable green option? According to a recent article in the SF Chronicle, the people of Potrero Hill don't seem to think so. Studies conducted on the turf actually found that "when the rubber crumbs were heated to temperatures likely to occur on a sunny day, they released four potentially dangerous compounds. One is a carcinogen; the other three can irritate people's eyes, skin and respiratory systems."
So what is the green solution? Parks are invaluable additions to our communities; water is a precious resource; and carcinogenic artificial turf is out of the question.
image via SF Chronicle/Lacy Atkins