There are pros and cons to both options, but which is best for you?

There’s no better time than now to become more and more conscious about our impact on the planet, especially in our harsh South African climate. With the drought in the Western Cape, it has become illegal to water gardens with municipal water and few have access to borehole or non-potable water. Even then, this undrinkable water source is high in iron and can stain your walls if untreated, itself an expensive undertaking.

That has meant that many people have resorted to ripping out their battered, brown lawns in favour of fake grass, or astro turf. But just because it requires no water, does that make it eco-friendly? Here are some pros and cons:


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  • Essentially an outdoor, plastic carpet, astro turf requires absolutely no maintenance
  • It is easily installed or removed
  • It looks very real and comes in many options for colours and styles of grass
  • It lasts for years


  • The chemicals in the plastic used to make astro turf can seep into the soil and into the water table below ground
  • As a petroleum-based product, the creation of fake grass leads to pollution and water usage in its manufacturing
  • It can be quite costly
  • Eventually it will need to be replaced and the old one will end up on a landfill if not recycled

Rather save your grey water and use that in your garden. Even if it takes time and your lawn looks well and truly dead, it’s usually just dormant and will regain its lush beauty in the wetter months.