Just painting over a problem

I noticed that the Vermont Department of Tourism will once again be providing their weekly fall foliage reports this year. Shortly after, I read about lawn painting in California and got to thinking about how much Vermont’s tourist economy and those of many other states are climate dependant.  

But painting your lawn emerald green? In California, lawn spraying businesses are having a field day. Due to the severe drought and imposition of water-use restrictions, lawn painters are in big demand. Spraying green paint on a dull and drying front yard is being touted as a solution to the water shortage for homeowners. You can have it all: a green lawn and less water use.

“Letting it go dead and brown might be an option for some people, but let’s face it, nobody really thinks brown is the new green,” said Mr. Sahbari [lawn paint entrepreneur]. “This lets you cut down on watering and still have a lawn that looks great.”  


Low-water-use options, although encouraged, aren’t being widely employed. Naturalized arid landscaping, known as xeriscaping and popular in drought-prone Arizona, isn’t catching on in suburban California.  

Lawn painting, mostly on golf courses and sports surfaces, has been common for years. Spraying green paint on golf fairways in the southern US is done during their mild winters, when the grass would otherwise be dormant, to keep the grass greener than green year round.  

The lawn paint is reported to be a safe, non-toxic water based latex formula of some kind. But exactly what it contains may vary from vendor to vendor. Each lawn paint manufacturer has its own proprietary formulation, a trade secret.

These paints are specially formulated latex-type paints. They are water-based, but they do not contain some of the elements potentially toxic to organisms that normal house paints might have in them.


Or so says George Sajner, technical director for Pioneer Athletics, the maker of Match Play Turf Colorants.    

In Vermont, as climate change becomes more evident, what changes will challenge our economy? Would anyone consider painting leaves yellow and orange if they failed to turn colors on their own?  Well, sure, this is all just farfetched climate change paranoia. But we do make our own snow. And 75 percent of the ski terrain in Vermont is “painted” with manufactured snow to keep the resorts running profitably.  

Well then, maybe a little red touch-up paint here and there on those apples wouldn't do any harm. Would it?

2 thoughts on “Just painting over a problem

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *