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artiﬁcial turf releases more greenhouse gases… how natural grass can help cut your carbon footprint One of the strongest arguments for installing natural turf is that it is by far the most sustainable, and environmentally- and carbon-friendly option. We are each of us responsible for our planet’s cleaner, greener future and have our part, no matter how small, to play. It is up to individuals to make positive choices, be that recycling household waste, cycling to work or, indeed, choosing natural over artiﬁcial turf in a professional capacity. What’s more, with many clubs and municipalities actively seeking to cut their carbon footprint or become carbon neutral, installing and preserving natural turf pitches can be a vital contributor to this. To illustrate – for every artiﬁcial pitch that is installed, a natural pitch needs to be established to compensate for the greenhouse gases produced and neutralise the carbon. Deforestation is, quite rightly, one of the most decried acts against our environment. But you may be interested to learn that the annual oxygen production and carbon dioxide ﬁxation from one hectare of grass exceeds that of one hectare of forest. Grass is vital to carbon sequestration – the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in the soil reservoir, which is third only to the other carbon sequestration reservoirs; the earth’s outermost surface, the crust, and underground oil and gas reserves. This means that, hectare for hectare, turf grass will sequester more carbon into the soil each year than woodland. Conversely, the artiﬁcial yarns or ﬁbres that make up artiﬁcial turf are manufactured predominately from petrochemicals – one of the main contributors to global warming. Indeed, 2010 research conducted by the University of Berkley in the States concluded that: “Artiﬁcial turf releases more greenhouse gases in its production, transportation and processing than the maintenance of natural turf ever would.”. In the ESA’s new ‘Natural turf: why it remains the natural choice for football, sports and playing surfaces’ discussion document, we look at these beneﬁts in greater detail – visit www.tinyurl.com/ESAdoc to request a copy or ﬁnd out more. natural vs artiﬁcial turfgrass: the facts