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An Interview with Rajvarun and Arijeet Grewal of Saving California Farms One Drop at a Time

fake-grass An Interview with Rajvarun and Arijeet Grewal of Saving California Farms One Drop at a Time

Brothers Arijeet and Rajvarun Grewal, students in Hanford, CA, helped forward a bill that would subsidize synthetic turf in California. The bill, AB 603, was introduced by Bakersfield assembly member Rudy Salas in February. If passed, the bill would grant a subsidy to those who replace their natural grass lawns with artificial grass.

Ari and Raj, students in Hantford at Pioneer Middle School and Sierra Pacific High School, thought of the idea and suggested it to Mr. Salas via a letter. Mr. Salas liked the idea, and now it's being put into motion. The brothers created a Facebook page for their project called Saving California Farms One Drop at a Time.

Ari and Raj agreed to speak with us in this interview, and Global Syn-Turf is honored to have them. 

Where did the idea come from?

Raj: Last summer, we decided to redo our landscape. My brother and I became interested in finding out if we could install synthetic grass, which will help conserve fresh water. My father explained that synthetic grass is expensive, and he further explained that we could go for it if it was subsidized like solar panels. This encouraged us to propose legislation.

What motivated you to pursue this endeavor so seriously?

Ari: Living in the Central Valley, one cannot escape drought news. We learned that more than 60% of fresh water is wasted on lawn maintenance in California. Therefore, we wanted to do our part to conserve fresh water.

When did you realize that the potential of synthetic grass as a drought-tolerant option wasn't being fully utilized?

Raj: After researching extensively on this topic, we learned that many cities in California did provide rebates for homeowners and businesses that purchased and installed synthetic turf. However, we learned that there was not a state-wide program that provided state-wide incentives, given that some of the cities and counties do not generate much tax revenue and cannot afford to provide incentives to its residents.

artificial grass drought

What do you think will be some of the long term effects of the popular adoption of synthetic grass in residential areas?

Ari: Primarily, the adoption of synthetic grass in residential areas would help conserve a lot of fresh water that can be used for our Central Valley agriculture. It would also decrease the chances of another severe drought to occur in California.

Do you think synthetic grass has any advantages over other drought-tolerant alternatives, such as xeriscaping?

Raj: Synthetic grass and drought- tolerant alternatives both have advantages. They both help reduce the wastage of fresh water. However, grass is a part of our natural lives. Xeriscaping, on the other hand, takes away that naturalness.

artificial grass droughtOn your Facebook page you say that "One day, water may lead to the division of California." Could you expound on that?

Raj: It is a politically hot subject. Several times in the past, a division of California has been proposed. More than any other political reason, water was the main issue. Recently, there is zero water allocation from the Sacramento--San Joaquin River Delta due to smelt fish. The majority of Central Valley residents believe that Big Brothers on both sides (North and South) control most of the legislative processes due to their population and, hence, influence and control of the flow of water.

On your Facebook page you say that you "would like to propose a clause in the bill allocating a percent of subsidy to provide vocational and trade education for those who may get negatively impacted so they can rebuild a better and brighter future for themselves and their families." Could you expound on this idea?

Ari: We wanted to make sure that our proposal does not negatively impact anyone, especially hardworking Californians in the landscape industry. Therefore, we proposed a portion of incentives to train them in synthetic grass installation.

On your Facebook page you say that popular adoption of synthetic grass will "bring economic prosperity to the state of California." Could you explain this a bit further?

Ari: In the beginning, lot of people were against Internet or online shopping, and now we can see how many jobs it has created in terms of software, e-commerce, and logistics (warehouse and transportation) jobs. Along the same lines, we strongly believe that the synthetic grass industry will also contribute in creating jobs (i.e. manufacturing, installation, and maintenance).

artificial grass drought

What has it been like working with Bakersfield assembly member Rudy Salas? Are there any lessons you can impart to us that you learned from working with him?

Raj: It was a wonderful experience. We have learned more about the other projects and bills that are being proposed in the Assembly Session. We have learned to become more active in our community.

Did you have a specific strategy for pitching the Bill to the Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation, Mr. Phil Ting?

Ari: It was a great pleasure to meet Mr. Phil Ting and asking for his support in person. We believe we have already reached the masses via TV and newspapers. We have also requested the local city council and county Board of supervisors to write to Mr. Ting in our bill's support. We also encourage the industry (including your company) to support and lobby our bill.

artificial grass drought

What was the experience like traveling to Sacramento to introduce AB 603? Did anything occur that was unexpected? What was the most surprising thing you learned about during your trip introducing the bill?

Ari: It was an amazing experience. We were honored and delighted to be invited by Mr. Salas to be a part of history in the making. We still have goose bumps from being on the assembly floor submitting AB 603 and seeing "Grewal Family" name on the notice board in the assembly hall. As a visitor you are just allowed to be in the gallery, but being there, on the assembly floor, just feels great!

Raj, according to a report, you are interested in pursuing a career in politics because of this experience. Is there a specific area of politics you are interested in?

Raj: I have not fully chosen my field; however, whatever job I do take, I would love to give back to my community. Going through this adventure has definitely opened my eyes to the endless career paths from which I could choose.

How does this experience fit into both of your long-term goals?

Ari: Our community has instilled in us the will power to give back to our community. Proposing this bill has given us the opportunity to help our neighborhoods. Also, we have learned that the sky has no limit in defining our own destiny.

Is there anything else either of you would like to talk about?

Raj: We highly appreciate you reaching out to us. Once again, we strongly request your company's leadership team to engage law makers in California (especially Mr. Ting and Mr. Salas) and support our bill.

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April 6, 2015   |   Artificial Grass, Artificial Grass, Artificial Turf, Artificial Turf, Artificial Turf, Artificial Turf, Fake Grass, Fake Grass, Fake Grass, Fake Grass, Synthetic Grass, Synthetic Grass, Artificial Lawn, Artificial Lawn, Synthetic Turf, Synthetic Turf, Water Conservation, Water Conservation, Eco Friendly Products, Eco Friendly Products, Drought Tolerant Plants, Drought Tolerant Plants, California Water, California Water, California Drought, California Drought

Water-efficiency Programs in Contra Costa County, CA

If you own a property in Contra Costa county, which includes Antioch, Bay Point, Clyde, Brentwood, Clayton, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Hercules, Lafayette, Martine, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pinole and Pittsburg, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Port Costa, you may hear about water-efficiency programs and rebates held by water agency in collaboration with PG&E. There are five types of rebates: 

1.    Washer machine rebates program
2.    Toilet High-Efficiency rebate
3.    Landscape water-efficiency program
4.    Sprinkler Timer rebates
5.    Free Water Conservation Devices

Most programs are preset to the end of a year (2014), so if you didn't make any home improvements this year, and you still have time to save some money, or pick up free devices that will help you reduce your water bill and to conserve water. All programs work on the basis, first-come, first-serve. 

1.   Washer machine rebates program
 
Energy Star Most Efficient
If you purchase the Energy Star Most Efficient (ESME) washing machine (for clothes) between January, 1 2014 and December, 31 2014, submit your rebate application to receive $200 back not later than six months after the date of purchase. 

Here is the full list of approved models: 

PG&E list for quaifying clothes washers

You will need a proof of purchase (don't forget to make copies). The limit of rebates from one water agency is once per five years, which is reasonable in respect to the average 5-years life-span of highly computerized washers nowadays. 

There is also a $50 rebate that applies to all Tier 3 on the consortium for Energy Efficiency list:
 
Clotheswasher Aplication 


Phone number to call: 1-800-933-9555 (PG&E's energy line)

2.    Toilet High-Efficiency Rebate
Watersense labeled

That's a tougher program to get the rebate for up to $125. 

First, your existing toilet must be installed before 1994 and use three and a half gallons per flush or more. If you are not sure, look inside the tank or at the neck of the toilet bowl. Often, manufacturers put there the indexes of the water usage. Before 1992, the standard number was less than 1.6 GPF (Gallons per flush). If your toilet was purchased after 1992, you are more likely have 3.5-7 GPF.

Secondly, there is no application online to file. You must visit the District Center: 

1331 Concord Ave, Concord, CA (M-F from 8-5). Call them first (925) 688-8320. 

Another requirement, of course, is that your new toilet must be labeled new US EPA WaterSense HET. 

When you submit the rebate application along with the sales receipt, CCWD will schedule a post-installation inspection, and the rebate check for up to $125 will be mailed to you in 4-6 weeks. 

3.    Landscape water-efficiency program "Lose a Lawn - Get a Garden"
 
Artificial Grass GST
If you like to get an idea how to redesign your existing lawn, you can get 2-hours FREE professional landscape design assistance. You must pay $150 fee at the time of service and will be reimbursed when your lawns transformation is completed. 

You can get $1.00 per square foot, and up to $1,000 maximum for residential properties, and up to $10,000 for commercial accounts. This program applies only to front yards (visible to public). If you lawn didn't have in-ground sprinklers system installed prior to the lawn removal, you can't participate in this program. It sounds unfair for homeowners who love to water their front-yard lawns by hand, but that's a deal.

You must also replace your lawn with water-efficient plants from the list: 

Water Efficiency Plants

If you plan to install artificial grass, your contractor must be licensed. Without it, your rebate application will not be approved. The artificial grass must permeable for air and water. 50% of the area must be covered with living plants. 

Call us today to find a licensed contractor in Contra Costa county: 1-877-796-8873.

You can find out more: http://www.ccwater.com/L2G-cgi/FAQs.asp

6.   Smart Sprinkler Timer rebates

This program is good only from commercial, multi-family, and municipal customers. To apply, you must have well-maintained irrigation system in place and have above 150% of average water consumption in your area. To start, you must submit your application to CCWD along with the original sales receipt for existing equipment. Your property will be inspected twice - once before and after the installation.

http://www.ccwater.com/smart_timer/commercial.asp

5.    Free Water Conservation Devices

There are six devices you can pick up for free at CCWD Water conservation office, 1331 Concord Ave, Concord, CA. Limit yourself in taking long showers. You can have a Four Minute Shower Timer free. Earth 2-Flow Soak & Soap massage showerhead has 9-jet turbo-massage spray with on/off toggle switch. 2-flow kitchen aerator with swivel, 1.5 gallons-per-minute bathroom faucet aerator, 6-pattern hose nozzle and even Dye Tablets to check if your toilet leaks.
 
http://www.ccwater.com/conserve/devices.asp

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April 6, 2015   |   Artificial Grass, Artificial Grass, Water Conservation, Water Conservation, Drought Tolerant Plants, Drought Tolerant Plants

Artificial Grass Business Booming In North Texas!

fake-grass Artificial Grass Business Booming In North Texas!

Companies that manufacture or install artificial lawns are experiencing a boom in business, due to the drought-like conditions and watering restrictions in many North Texas cities.

But the synthetic lawns today aren't the same plastic AstroTurf made popular in the 1970s. The products on the market now, are not just used for putting greens and football fields either.

Tim Dvorak, owner of the company Synthetic Grass Pro, and gets calls every day from homeowners inquiring about artificial grass.

"I discussed this with many turf manufacturers, that's a big thing they notice. As soon as there are drought restrictions, watering restrictions, or an ordinance like the City of Dallas two-days a week restriction, it really just makes this industry explode," said Dvorak.

Today's synthetic lawns are made to stay cool underfoot, drain water well, and last for 10-15 years. The products come in different shades of green, different textures, and mimic different varieties of natural grass. Choosing artificial can be expensive upfront: prices range from $7.50 to $15 a square foot.

 

Many homeowners with artificial grass installed in their yards feel that the investment was worth it.

"The initial cost is expensive, but it's already paid for itself over the four years. Not having to re-sod it, not having to water. The yard guys[come less often]. So it's more than paid for itself," said Dvorak.

Many homeowners can be skeptical at the beginning, until they see the fake grass first-hand. 

Not all cities in North Texas are on board with artificial grass, though.

Frisco does not allow artificial turf at this time, and many homeowners' associations have rules.

Highland Park passed an ordinance restricting artificial turf to back yards.

Other cities, however, have no rules in place limiting synthetic grass. Those cities include Dallas, Arlington, Denton, and University Park.

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Best of Hayward Awards For Lawn & Garden

Global Syn-Turf Grand Opening in Southern California

fake-grass Global Syn-Turf  Grand Opening in Southern California

 

We are pleased to announce the Grand Opening of our new location in Commerce, California.

As a manufacturer of the artificial grass in United States, we strive to bring our products closer to our customers. There is no secret in the industry that Global Syn-Turf, Inc. has the largest inventory in the country. Demand for high quality synthetic solutions for playing surfaces and landscapes has grown in many states in the last five years, but with a catastrophic drought that hit Californians again in 2008 and intensified in 2012, people start to realize the necessity of adapting and exploring new technologies that can help to conserve water.

While governor Jerry Brown is signing a 687 million-dollar drought-relief package to provide farm workers who have lost employment with needed housing, food and assistance, as consumers we have no time to hope for a better future. Instead, we need to become more conscious about realities of our environment.

Synthetic turf is not like an old-fashioned way to conserve water as, for example, rainwater collection, but according to statistics, between four to eight billion gallons of water were conserved in 2010 through the use of artificial grass.

Long and hot summer awaits Southern California this year. For many companies and home owners it is time to consider new ways to adapt resilient water management for long-term relief for a drought.

Visit us in our new location in Commerce, California. We have synthetic turf for any possible use you can imagine, commercial and residential, from sport and playground solutions to professional putting greens.

 

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April 6, 2015   |   Artificial Grass, Artificial Grass, Artificial Turf, Artificial Turf, Fake Grass, Fake Grass, Synthetic Turf, Synthetic Turf, Water Conservation, Water Conservation, Drought Tolerant Plants, Drought Tolerant Plants, California Water, California Water, Putting Greens, Putting Greens, Playground, Playground
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