Synthetic Turf….Yes? With Gary and Spencer Donaldson


So I’m having a visit with my friend Gary.  High-spirited and charismatic, he is talking about the turf business he runs with his son Spencer, cracking jokes throughout with his Jack Nicholson smile spread wide.

His bright green eyes light up over his sleeve of beer. Being a craft beer lover, I often tease him about the ‘pee water’ he drinks, however.

“Do you want to hear the commercial I’m working on for me and Spencer’s synthetic turf business?” He asks, intently.

I nod my head and roll my eyes, preparing myself for what the funny fireball is about to say next.

He cups his hand around his mouth and bellows, in his version of a female voice, “Fred! It’s Saturday morning! You need to get out and mow the lawn!”

Gary holds his finger in the air. “But, now Fred has synthetic turf so he doesn’t have to mow his lawn.”

I snort a little laugh and take a sip of my ‘pee water’, waiting for the conclusion.

Once again, Gary cups his hand around his mouth and yells, “Fred!” But this time his ‘woman’s voice’ gets seductive instead.  “You don’t need to mow the lawn honey, get back into bed with me!”

Gary slaps his hand on the table and grins at me, waiting for my reaction.

Of course I am laughing and admit it is a great ad.

The environmentalist nerd in me has questions though.  Synthetic turf. Plastic grass?  No delicious grass smell?  No grass stained socks?  No mothers yelling at kids about grass stained socks?

It was going to take some convincing to get me onto synthetic turf.

I put my childhood nostalgia to the side and zeroed in on the environmental aspects of grass versus turf.

Admittedly, it took a lot of searching on the net to find anything ‘bad’ about artificial grass.

According to many sources, including scientific studies, installing synthetic turf in place of lawns means tons of water saved and eliminates the need for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

50% of all drinkable water in North America was used watering lawns last year. Most water was wasted due to evaporation. One golf course uses 270,500 litres of water a day, which is enough water for 2200 people.

The demise of the bee colony is being blamed on pesticides and fertilizers, and seven million birds died in North America last year from pesticides.

Yet, I was determined to challenge Gary and Spencer with a few tough questions, so I searched until I found three of them:

I read that turf will collect bits and pieces of pet and bird droppings and liquids   from humans? How easy is it to clean?

“There is a product that cleans it, but you don’t have to. There are four inches of drain rock under the turf and the turf has drainage holes in it.  Rain will work to clean it,  if not hose it down. It’s not difficult at all. Also, it depends on what gets spilled on it.  Dog pee has an ammonia odor after awhile. If it rains it is gone. If not , you need to do a ten minute spray.”


According to a source I found, turf can get really hot, in fact hotter than natural grass?

“Our turf does not absorb heat, rather, it reflects it. It will react similarly to concrete or lawn. However, turf will cool immediately with clouds or shade.”


 Is synthetic turf difficult to recycle and reuse?

“Our turf is made from 100% recycled material.  It has a 15-year warranty but can potentially last for a lifetime.”



If you have input, comments, or questions, please send them so I can publish them on this site.

For more information or a quote, call Gary Donaldson at 250-819-2709 or Spencer Donaldson at 250-682-8803.

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