Fake Grass Vs. Real Grass: Which Is More Eco-Friendly?

eco-friendly grass
Pesticide warning sign on the lawn in front of a house

Landscaping has a special part in every homeowner’s heart. It provides a natural outdoor sanctuary where you can relax, unwind, and release all your stress in life. And it wouldn’t be one without smooth grassland.  

Grass plays an important role when it comes to landscaping. It’s the first thing you normally notice when you see a lawn. But sometimes, it’s a challenging dilemma for many homeowners, especially when comparing fake grass vs. real grass.  

When choosing between artificial and natural grass, it’s necessary to consider and evaluate their effect on the environment. After all, the environment plays a crucial role in the quality of your life, and these two types can make or break the world you live in.  

If you’re having problems choosing which type of grass is eco-friendlier than the other, you might be on the right page. In this article, you’ll get to know the pros and cons of fake grass and real grass in terms of their impact on the environment. Knowing these will help you understand which among them is better for the future.  

But before you settle the score between fake and real grass, it’s better to understand them.

What Is Fake Grass?

Fake grass was first introduced during the mid-60s for an indoor stadium to prevent sports injuries caused by real grass. It is made up of artificial materials, particularly synthetic fibers. It is produced the same way as carpets; it’s machine-stitched and has solid backing.  

Also, it has a brown aesthetic look that resembles dead grass leaves often seen in real grass lawns. Thanks to technology, the way artificial grass is manufactured continues to evolve, making it more realistic and natural.

What Can Be The Effects Of Fake Grass On The Environment?

Fake grass offers positive and negative effects on the environment. These are the things you might want to consider to determine if they’re eco-friendly or not.

  1. It Saves Water

As you know, real, natural grass requires water at least two to three times per week to keep it lush, green, and alive. Watering the grass may pose a risk to the environment, considering an increasing water scarcity across the world.  

On the other hand, fake grass doesn’t demand watering except when you have to remove the dust and dirt on its surface, helping you conserve water in the long run. However, it rarely occurs, and the amount of water used for cleaning fake grass is incomparable to the real one.  

  1. It Doesn’t Demand Mowing

Unlike natural grass, its artificial counterpart doesn’t require mowing simply because it never grows. Also, it’s free from weeds and any other kinds of unwanted growth, reducing your fuel usage and saving you tons of money.  

Furthermore, synthetic grass helps you prevent using harmful chemicals to maintain its lushness and greenness. You don’t have to use weed killers or pesticides that can negatively affect the environment in the long run. All you need is to clean its debris occasionally, which almost seems negligible.

  1. It Produces More Landfill

It’s important to understand that fake grass is made up of plastic materials, which are harmful to the environment, especially if not properly disposed. Also, it’s hardly recycled due to its complex recycling process. As a result, most of them are often left in landfills, which may take hundreds of years to break down into smaller matter. 

Also, it releases harmful toxins that may pollute the soil. That’s why it’s a challenge for many people to properly dispose of this fake grass. Otherwise, it may cause more damage to the environment.  

What Is Real Grass?

Real grass is the natural grass you see in most lawns that releases oxygen and takes up carbon dioxide in the air, helping humans and animals to survive. On top of that, it’s the most preferred option by many homeowners as it gives them an organic and natural atmosphere that any synthetic grass can’t be provided.

What Are The Effects Of Real Grass On The Environment?

Like fake grass, real grass also has positive and negative effects on the environment. Here are some you should consider:

  1. It Improves Air Quality

A real grass is a living organism that feeds on carbon dioxide and releases oxygen for humans and animals to breathe. An average lawn filled with real grass may produce at least 1500 pounds of oxygen every year, enough to provide fresh air for four people.  

On top of that, experts stress that using real, natural grass effectively combats the effects of greenhouse gases, especially in highly urbanized areas, reducing pollution. Also, it can help your family breathe cleaner air as it traps microorganisms, dust, and dirt in the air.

  1. It Manages Stormwater

One of the most crucial aspects of having real grass is its ability to handle stormwater. It filters the water that may pass through them by reducing its contaminants and residues before it reaches and pollutes other bodies of water. 

In addition, real grass redirects water flow and reduces the amount of water the soil can absorb, preventing flood and soil erosion.

  1. It May Demand The Use Of Chemicals

Real grass is like any other plant you have in your garden. It may need chemical pesticides to keep them in good shape and weed killers to eliminate any weed that may grow in your yard. Unfortunately, these chemicals may pose a risk to the environment.  

However, there are organic alternatives you may use that are free from potentially harmful chemicals. Also, pesticides and weed killers are only used when necessary. You don’t have to spray them on your lawn every day as long as it’s green and has no trace of damage.

The mechanic is repairing the ground of the football field.

Which One Is Eco-Friendlier?

Although both fake and real grass post some traits as eco-friendly, considering the discussion above, it might be correct to say that real grass is eco-friendlier among the two types of grass. Unlike the fake, artificial counterpart, real grass helps preserve the planet by releasing a good amount of oxygen, supplying your family with cleaner air to breathe, and reducing the greenhouse effect that can destroy the environment. Also, real grass is biodegradable and doesn’t end up in landfills.  

Final Words

Based on the discussion and presentation of different facts above, both fake grass and real grass may help the environment. However, real, natural grass is eco-friendlier than fake grass, weighing the effects mentioned above. 

On the other hand, you may combine both on your lawn. You may install fake grass on one side of your yard and real grass on the other side. This will help you appreciate the low maintenance of fake grass while enjoying the biodiversity provided by the natural grass.

You may try whatever may please you and your family. At the end of the day, it’s your choice, but don’t forget what you have learned from this article and use it to make better decisions in life.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.