As California endures year three of one of the worst droughts on record, residents have sacrificed their manicured lawns and blooming gardens, among other things.
But in an effort to brighten up otherwise dead and desolate areas, some landscapers are profiting from painting lawns green, the National Journal reports.
California tightened restrictions on water earlier this summer, fining residents up to $500 for using the scarce resource to shower lawns or wash driveways. Though flourishing lawns are far and few between, looking at blighted landscapes haven’t made it any easier on residents.
“It became a real eyesore, and we live in an area where everyone keeps their yard really nice,” said Jay Torres, a San Bernardino resident. “I heard about a service where people paint your lawn so it looks like the real thing and thought, why not? “
Lawn painting services continue to sprout up throughout the state, using dye that’s typically reserved for golf courses and athletic fields and lasts up to six months. The dye is billed as safe and nontoxic, but more importantly, landscapers are promoting the fact that it’s less expensive than replacing grass altogether with gravel or concrete.
“People think it sounds ridiculous when they first hear about it,” said Jim Power operations manager of LawnLift, a grass paint company in San Diego. “But they try it, and instantly they’re hooked.”
Power said his company has doubled sales this year while another company, Xtreme Green Grass, claims sales have shot up 60 percent. Landscaping company A Lucky Lawn in Long Beach recently sat down with Santa Fe Springs officials, who are considering the idea of painting the withering grass across their public parks, according to owner Drew McClellan.
But as business booms, the drought continues. And until experts are able to get a better handle on water practices, at least residents have one alternative in keeping things green.
MORE: Even as the Drought Continues, Californians Can Drink From a Firehose of Solutions