For many years we Brits have had a reputation for being 'precious' about our garden lawns, although over the past decade there’s been a worrying move towards replacing them with artificial lawns. I abhor these for the issues they create: they’re not helpful to nature and wildlife and as they don’t last forever, they’re an environmental nightmare in terms of adding to plastics pollution and eventually increasing landfill requirements. Plus they need cleaning. I know this has provided income for some of those working in this industry, but it’s not the point, is it? I’d hoped it was just us who were ripping up our lawns for them but I understand they’re becoming popular all over.
According to new data released today by www.MyBuilder.com though, the British fanbase is starting to decline, with 24% of people saying they’d happily see them banned, while a further 57% say they’d never install them. The platform, which links tradespeople with householders, says enquiries for artificial grass installation are down 48% year-on-year and demand in 2023 is 66% lower than in the same time period in 2021. Hurrah! Further, 33% believed measures should be put in place to limit their usage. The over 55s were even more anti, with 68% saying they wouldn’t consider installing them, while geographically there were interesting variations: The Welsh were the most against them, with 34% wanting a full ban, while in Northern Ireland, only 18% wanted a ban. I really hope the tide’s also turning against the stuff globally!
Finally, I don’t know whether you’ve yet had the chance to read of the Robotics feature we broadcast on Tuesday? In it I said I’d learnt a great deal while putting it together but what I’d not learnt at that stage was that my daughter and her partner had bought me a small vacuum cleaning robot for my birthday. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to set it up, but thanks to working on that feature and a subsequent chat with my daughter who loves hers, I’m looking forward to giving it a go. I’ll let you know what I – and my cats – think of it! I also asked you for your verdict on my musings, compared to one produced by John Austen’s AIChatBot friend. I’ve had one response so far from Thomas Neale and if I’ve understood it correctly, I’m currently in the lead: “Robotics Profiling: Professionally Personned versus Artefarcically Imbecilligenced = anecdotally appealing versus advertorially aggrandising.” I rather like that! The feature, if you missed it, is here
. Do let me know what you think!