We were recently asked whether artificial lawns impact residential home values, and, based on our research, there have been no studies published in trade or academic journals that offer a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
From a review of articles and reports on this topic, some homeowners and buyers may have stigmas against artificial lawns, but there is actually quite a bit of positive literature out there—though no reliable studies specifically discuss return-on-investment or impact on property values.
Some of the results of our literature search on this topic are found below, along with a list of pros and cons of using artificial lawns, summarized from all the sources we reviewed.
- Many articles discuss the “green” or “eco” perspective of artificial lawns, due to water conservation concerns and regulations in many cities
- Eliminates need for lawn chemicals and pesticides
- Low maintenance
- Color stays green year-round
- Major improvements in artificial turf look over the last several years
- Heat (Lawn temperatures can be much higher than the air temperature)
- Some concern that artificial turf can contain lead or other harmful chemicals, though the CPSC and EPA have both conducted studies on artificial turf and found no cause for concern
- Stigma that artificial lawns are “tacky”
- Some homeowner associations have bans on artificial lawns
- Increased risk of injury is commonly discussed in cases where artificial turf is used in sports stadiums
Reports & Papers
- A Scoping-Level Field Monitoring Study of Synthetic Turf Fields and Playgrounds, (US Environmental Protection Agency, Nov. 2009).
- CPSC Staff Analysis and Assessment of Synthetic Turf “Grass Blades”, (US Consumer Products Safety Commission, 2008).
- See the Synthetic Turf: Health and Environmental Impacts page on Penn State’s Center for Sport Surface Research website for many scientific and state-focused studies on health and environmental concerns relating to artificial turf.
- Can You Tell When Grass Is Fake? (Smart Money, March 19, 2010).
- On Greener Turf, (Dwell, March 30, 2009).
- Just How Green Is Faux Grass? (Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2008).
- Suburbanites Are Installing Faux Grass That Fools Pets, (Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2001).
Ebert RIP, overcoming inertia, recycling electronics
Film critic, author, screenwriter, journalist, and New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest winner Roger Ebert passed on this week at 70. Even in his last years he was prolific, reviewing more than 30o movies. Rest in Peace.
The cell phone is 40 years old this week. The original model was 10 inches long and weighed 2.5 pounds, a behemoth by today’s standards. For comparison, most modern smartphones weigh between four and six ounces. Of course, conspiracy theorists think cell phones might be much older, or this woman went back in time!
What do you get when you team up the London School of Economics and University of Manchester? “The Great British Class Survey,” which focuses on three forms of capital: 1) Economic; 2) Social; 3) Cultural. Check out their “class calculator.” Which of the seven classes best characterizes you?
Is a little voice inside your head insisting that your obstacles to exercising are stronger than you are? Psych it out with a few ingenious strategies that overcome just about every excuse.
Out of dryer sheets? Need a quick paper towel replacement? Here are 13 household items that can do double duty around the home in a pinch.
There should be an app for that: personal breathalyzer.
What do you do with your old cell phones, iPads, iPods, TVs or computers? Put them in the garage or on the curb, hoping someone will take them? WiseBread offers responsible solutions for disposing your old electronics. The choices ranges from donation, selling the items, trading it in or recycling it. Get the pros and cons of each choice here.
I can’t get into the idea of buying fake designer goods. Is image that important? Anyway, if you wonder if your flea market find is genuine, here’s a guide to figuring it out – hint: it’s all in the details…
Winning friends in a digital age, green olympics, and learning to focus
Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” has been a popular title since it debuted in 1936. Millions of copies have been sold all around the world. We even have an audio version in our ebook collection for members that has proven very popular over the years, with downloads putting the title in the top 15% of checkouts. CBS News had a story recently on Carnegie’s enduring message of following the Golden Rule and how it has translated into the digital age.
The Olympic Opening Ceremonies are tonight in London. Don’t expect the over-the-top spectacle of Beijing, but it should still be a good show. And more sustainable to boot. The stadium has been designed to be partly dismantled at the end of the games to more easily be repurposed. So too the aquatic center by famed architect Zaha Hadid. Now if only the mascots weren’t quite so creepy.
America’s fastest growing city is…no surprise if you think about it.
Focusing on the job can sometimes be difficult. You have to remember to pick up the dry cleaning after work, drop off the kids at practice, oh, you need to book that restaurant reservation before you forget, didn’t Tom say he was going to post some pictures from your vacation together on Facebook? The list goes on and on. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few tricks to minimize their impact, allowing you to get through your work in a reasonable amount of time.
China Daily reports on the latest automated advance in China – Beijing’s automatic library vending machines. You have to register your card for a $16 to get access. That seems kind of steep to me, but you can’t doubt the ease of checking out and returning might outweigh the cost.
A “green” ride for a REALTOR, don’t stress on the wrapping, and peanut butter is the perfect gift for some
Many Realtors spend more time in their cars than they do in their offices. But if you’re trying to stand out as a ‘green’ realtor, how do you balance the need for transport with the need for environmental sensitivity and more importantly, stand out to potential clients? One Realtor in Orange County, CA decided the answer was a veggie-oil car. Not only does it recycle used frying oil, it also costs less than regular gas.
Generation Y has less interest in cars than the last. And that trend isn’t new. “Car Culture” has been on the decline since the 1970s, with teenagers less interested in driving than their parents. Some experts say it’s because of mobile phones, social media, and the internet providing an alternative to actually getting in the car and going to meet your friends in person. Others say the trend might be exacerbated by the tough economy. Either way, the auto industry isn’t taking any chances.
Even if you’re not planning to buy a car in the next few weeks (although it is one of the best times of year to buy a car), chances are you will be doing a lot of shopping. Bloomberg BusinessWeek recently published a story on several B-school studies that looked at consumer shopping behavior. A couple of interesting findings: impulse purchases may happen in the store aisle or at checkout, but the idea for them often starts before you even leave the house. Also, don’t struggle for the perfect wrapping: well-wrapped gifts give an expectation to the receiver that something wonderful is inside. If the gift is just so-so, they show more disappointment than if your wrapping skills were only marginal.
Want to know what your local Food Bank might need this winter? The answer could be peanut butter.
Still trying to decide between the new Kindle Fire and the new Nook Tablet? CNET has a side-by-side review. The winner is…the Nook, but only by a nose. They spell out pretty clearly the type of user for each.
Listing mistakes, saying ‘no’ at work, and who moved my alarm clock to the bathroom?!
Today consumers have more information than ever when looking to buy a house. Sites like realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow all provide easy access to listings from all over the country. It’s no wonder than 9 out of 10 home buyers start their search online themselves. However, while people have become accustomed to looking at online dating profiles with a grain of salt, the home shopping experience is infrequent enough that people tend to believe what is presented. As SmartMoney points out, online listings suffer from misinformation too. Only once they take that next step do they find out the elegant house with a white picket fence is actually next to a dump or was sold months ago.
With so much doom and gloom everywhere, US News decided to point out 5 Good News Items for the US Economy.
Say goodbye to most of your incandescent light bulbs. Other than some specialty lights that are exempt, most lights will switch over to other more efficient technologies by 2015 when new rules take effect. Already we’re seeing a switch to compact-fluorescent with new cheaper LEDs expected to replace those eventually. The Wall Street Journal via Yahoo! tells why it should be a smooth transition to more efficient lights.
Saying ‘no’ to a new opportunity at work can be a challenge. We want to appear to be team players and to be willing to take on any task thrown at us. However, taking on too much has its downside too. It just takes a couple of mistakes or missed deadlines for you to be labeled ‘unreliable’. So sometimes the best strategy is to say no. But how do you do that so you come out ahead? Forbes explores how to say no, but still get ahead.
Everyone’s on a tighter schedule these days. Rush here, rush there, how will I ever make time for xyz? Yahoo! has some sneaky time saving tips. Especially good: reroute your commute to avoid left turns and move the alarm clock to the bathroom. You’ll have to get up to turn it off, and hey, the shower’s right there…
Underwater mortgages impacting bail bonds, Twitter on the skids, and some really great hats
I never knew how expensive a bail bond can be (guess that’s a good thing), but now they are becoming even harder to get as bondsmen are less willing to take homes as collateral. The Wall Street Journal has the story (free for now).
As the one responsible for the care and feeding of our Field Guide to Wind Farms and their Effect on Property Values I know how divisive seemingly innocuous topics can be. What appears good from afar can be anything but that up close. But wind farms aren’t the only green energy seen as impacting property values. The New York Times reports on the growing murmurs of discontent in New Jersey over solar panels in suburbia.
Fortune has a really interesting article on the revolving door that is Twitter’s executive office. Rather than having a founder with his thumb firmly planted where he wanted to go (a la Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, or Bill Gates), the creators of Twitter left much of its evolution to users. And now after several departures and a return, they’re trying to figure out how to make it pay.
Skype for Android now offers calls on 3G regardless of carrier.
Hopefully our wet and cold spring is almost behind us, but in case we have one or two more stay-at-home weekends, Yahoo has info on how to start streaming movies off Netflix.
Looking for a way to support US companies in a challenging financial era? ABC News has compiled a list of websites selling American-made products, ranging from golf clubs to baby clothes, furniture to camping gear, toys to pet supplies and more.
Did you go to the Royal Wedding? No wonder your twitter stream dried up. Westminster Abbey was tweet (and apparently WC) free. But weren’t those hats something?
iPhone tracking, ordering to overeat, and how to cook the Easter Bunny.
Obama: Housing ‘Probably the Biggest Drag on the Economy’
The last chapter has been written for Google Video for a number of years. The site stopped accepting new videos a number of years ago, but Google is now officially pulling the plug. Still have videos on the site? Need to figure how to get them off? Wired‘s Webmonkey has the info.
Another sign of the Apocalypse? Mashable via CNN reports on how the tablet war is heating up in restaurants, replacing live waiters or waitresses. Apparently people order more when they can do it digitally themselves. A tablet doesn’t judge when you order a piece of chocolate lava cake. Just what we need…
You know you can listen to music, make a call, check sports scores, and lots of other things on a smart phone, but did you know you can check your heart rate? Lots of gadgets these days have secondary functions that people overlook. Yahoo! uncovers some gadget surprises.
To celebrate Earth Day, many businesses are offering consumers free stuff, good deals, and chances to win valuable prizes. Yahoo Green has gathered just a sampling of Earth Day deals.
And speaking of green: I wouldn’t even know where to buy one, but Fox News had an interesting story on a not-so-traditional Easter Dinner idea: how to cook a rabbit. Really the story is more of a why cook a rabbit: It is leaner than chicken, veal or turkey, with less fat and cholesterol. It has half the calories per pound compared to beef and pork and is the most easily digestible protein around. They grow fast, meaning they impact the environment less and don’t need antibiotics or hormones. Sounds like a great idea to me.
You’ve all seen the movies where the heroes outrun an explosion or even use it to propel their mode of escape – like a surfer riding a wave. Yeah, right. Gizmodo tries to answer the question how big an explosion could you realistically survive?