One tenant was caught in the midst of a landscaping tragedy when they claimed their landlord wanted to switch from living plants to artificial grass.
Synthetic turf, made from plastic, became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to cut back on water bills and skip mowing. But what owners didn’t realize is that, because debris like leaves can’t just filter down to the dirt and break apart naturally when there’s a plastic sheet in the way, this type of lawn alternative needs to be vacuumed instead — a chore just as time-consuming as mowing.
Plus, the plastic tends to trap water and pet urine, creating a dirty, stinky mess. Also, as it breaks down, it releases toxins and plastic particles, making it unhealthy for people and the environment.
However, this tenant’s landlord was still determined to move forward.
“My landlord is removing all the large trees and replacing all the grass with plastic grass,” they explained in a Reddit post. “I feel powerless. They are removing the trees because they make too much of a mess.”
According to the Redditor, they tried to reason with their landlord. “We have already expressed how bad the plastic grass (‘eco grass’) is for the environment,” they said.
However, like many landlords across the country, this owner wasn’t concerned about the environmental effects of their decision — only the appearance of the lawn.
The original poster’s only remaining hope was that they might be able to do something to lessen the negative effects of the synthetic turf.
“I was thinking about putting out a bunch of large potted plants on top of the plastic grass,” they said.
One commenter thought there might still be a way to block the installation, however. “Depending on local ordinances, plastic turf might trigger additional stormwater runoff considerations that the landlord would be held financially liable for,” they said.
“Look into any potential bylaws they may be breaking?” suggested another user. “I know where I live you can’t just cut down a tree for no reason.”
Ultimately, when trying to make eco-friendly decisions for a rented home, working with the landlord is the most effective option. When trying to get your landlord to adopt money-saving and eco-friendly measures, you can use many of the same tips that apply to working with an HOA.
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