How Green is Green?

Last updated on July 13, 2020

We human beings are the most dominant species on earth. We have time and again proved greedy to cause imbalances in our natural ecosystem. We remain so concerned about impure water, diseases, pollution, floods, traffic etc. We try to do our bit by banning plastics, using recyclable bags, using more of public transport but at times we never bother to give a thought how artificial measures adopted by us have taken us far away from nature. One such issue is the use of artificial greens in our houses, property, offices and in our backyards.

It’s a fashion today to have a small green carpet in our balcony. A green turf gives you a refreshing feeling. It beholds your eyes in the backdrop of a concrete frame. Does it really fulfil its promises to be green? A synthetic green turf has very low maintenance cost, minimal water requirement, no foul smell, no mowing, no use of pesticides etc. A synthetic turf is economical but proves to be unhealthy in long term.

Artificial turf is made up of three major parts:

  • Backing material that will serve to hold the individual blades of artificial grass.
  • The plastic blades themselves.
  • The infill, those tiny black crumbs made of reused rubber that helps support the blades.

Various pigments are used to provide the green colour of the blades. These can include lead or titanium. Modern tires are a mixture of natural and synthetic rubber, carbon black a material made from petroleum .They also contain metals, including cadmium, lead, which is neurotoxic, and zinc. Some of the chemicals in tires, such as dibenzopyrenes, are known carcinogens. In the long term from abrasions like walking on the green cover, sitting on it and when exposed to daily environment conditions, it gradually deteroites the green blades which release fugitive emissions of toxic gases. Artificial green turf always heat up fast rising the surrounding temperatures. Apart from this, any injury caused in contact with such surface doesn’t heal easily. We are unknowingly exposed to health hazard.

It takes time and effort to build a natural green cover like having indoor plants or a small kitchen garden but it’s worth the effort when it comes to our health. Artificial green turfs are unnatural, no living things viz microbes, insects, butterflies or birds would ever be found building natural ecosystems here. We adopt the reel green ditching the real green. Let’s contribute to nature by saying no to such artificial greens.