As regular studies come out regarding the use of synthetic turf in the United States, there is more and more proof that synthetic turf is sustainable. This is great news for athletic football fields, golf courses, indoor soccer arenas, and more. Synthetic turf has expanded in popularity, and many are happy to quickly point out its four main points of sustainability.
Reasons Why Synthetic Turf is Sustainable
- It reduces water consumption. Depending on the location of the field, one synthetic turf sports field saves an average of 500,000 to 1,000,000 gallons of water a year. Throughout 2011 about six billion gallons of water were saved through the use of synthetic turf. The EPA has determined that the average family of four in the United States consumes 400 gallons of water per day. Therefore, the water being saved by the use of synthetic turf equals the amount of water consumed by roughly 40,000 families. In the desert or other places prone to drought, this can be a significant way to save water.
- It eliminates the need for harmful fertilizers and pesticides. Runoff of toxic pesticides and fertilizers is a major cause of water pollution.
- It creates less waste going into landfills. Crumb rubber often made from used tires is regularly used for infill. Estimates claim that synthetic turf has prevented around 105 million used tires from entering landfills.
- Some synthetic turf can be recycled. Several companies across the United States are finding creative ways to reuse and recycle worn out synthetic turf, like lining sand traps at golf courses. Other companies have found ways to recycle used synthetic turf to reduce waste.
Keeping Athletes Safe on Synthetic Turf
Although synthetic turf is more expensive up front, many see the benefits of it after adding up the maintenance costs for a natural grass. Grass takes a plethora of time and resources to maintain, while synthetic turf is almost maintenance free. Natural grass needs trimming, watering, and fertilizing, but synthetic turf can be easily be maintained with little time and resources. The two most important aspects of synthetic turf maintenance revolve around keeping athletes safe. First, turf owners need to be able to clear away debris and harmful objects from the field like, shoe spikes, rocks, used band aids, and pens. For this, Sports Turf NW recommends the LitterKat. LitterKat is a state of the art turf sweeper to remove all unwanted debris and redistribute infill. The second major safety concern for athletes playing on synthetic turf is the spread of harmful bacteria like MRSA, which is easily distributed across athletic fields through contact with used band aids, opens wounds, and other bodily fluids. To eliminate the threat of MRSA, Sports Turf Northwest provides turf owners with UVC light sterilization equipment like the GreenZapr or MiniZapr. The brand new MiniZapr is perfect for smaller spaces like indoor soccer arenas and offers the same protection from MRSA as the larger GreenZapr. If you need help deciding what will keep your athletes safe, call Sports Turf NW today for advice on equipment and turf maintenance.
Information on synthetic turf sustainability provided by the Synthetic Turf Council at www.syntheticturfcouncil.org