Polluting Planes, Coked-Out Eels, and the Science of ‘Frass’ (Fake Grass)

12:12 minutes

As California’s drought continues, some homeowners are ditching their thirsty grass lawns in favor of artificial turf. Turf companies say sales of fake grass—or “frass”—are booming. Some cities are even paying “cash for grass”: offering homeowners rebates for every square foot of water-guzzling lawn they rip out. But is fake grass really “greener”? Ira sorts through the good and the bad with Ecoholic author and NOW magazine columnist Adria Vasil.

And BuzzFeed News science editor Virginia Hughes shares her top science news picks for the week. She explains why an EPA estimate for airlines’ carbon emissions has some politicians—and environmentalists—up in arms, and why Italian scientists gave European eels cocaine (we swear it’s for science).

Segment Guests

Virginia Hughes

Virginia Hughes is science editor at BuzzFeed News in New York, New York.

Adria Vasil

Adria Vasil is author of Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products, and Services (W.W. Norton, 2009) and columnist at NOW Magazine in Toronto, Canada.

Meet the Producers and Host

About Annie Minoff

Annie Minoff is a producer for The Journal from Gimlet Media and the Wall Street Journal, and a former co-host and producer of Undiscovered. She also plays the banjo.

About Elah Feder

Elah Feder is the former senior producer for podcasts at Science Friday. She produces the Science Diction podcast, and co-hosted and produced the Undiscovered podcast.