Push Mowers

Near the top of the definitive list of “comebacks” is the classic push mower. No engine, just an ear-pleasing swish of blades effortlessly turning and in the process cleanly slicing the grass. On the comeback list, pushmowers are slightly below 70’s fashions and just above Mickey Rourke’s role in The Wrestler.

As gasoline prices have fluctuated over the last few years and Big Oil’s profits continue to be reported at mind-boggling levels, more and more environmentally conscious world citizens are looking at other clean alternatives to manicure their lawns, while at the same time looking for ways to cut costs and avoid all the unburnt noxious fumes emitted by the ubiquitous gas powered lawnmower. As urban areas grow, the average yard square footage has decreased to manageable small spots of green, just perfect for an instant start simple push mower.

Reel mowers cost nothing to operate – just a little muscle and exercise.  Most push mowers are cheaper than electric or gas motors, and the new newest models have been engineered and fine-tuned that they are quite easy to push and require practically no maintenance – just a blade sharping every five years. I remember using one to cut our front yard as a teenager after I’d exhausted every creative excuse to weasel out of getting out there.

The most important tip to keep in mind is to avoid cutting tall grass with reel mowers as they might bind up with the cuttings, but with a little patience and back and forth motion, it can be done. That was probably my other problem when little; putting off cutting the grass once a week means I had to cut a couple weeks or month’s worth of grass at once. I probably deserved that extra frustration.

Not only are reel mowers at least around $100 less to buy than the basic gas mower, but they are more environmentally friendly and cheaper to operate. Gas powered motors account for 800 million gallons of gas a year and as much as 5% of air pollution.

If you are using an old mower from before 1995, you really need to consider buying a new one to save the environment and your pocektbook.

Older models of gas powered mowers lose 25% of their gas into the air unused because of inefficient design. Even more shocking, 17 million gallons of gas are lost every year just from people spilling it as they try and fill up mowers. This hurts the environment and is an utter waste of money. Depending on your lawn size you can save $200 or more on mowing a year, so one summer with a reel mower and you’ve effectively paid off its purchase. Even a smaller lawn will save at least one hundred dollars in gas depending on how often they cut the grass.


About the author

John R. Garnet

John's work in the energy market fostered his interest in the environment. He recently completed his graduate work at George Mason University, But more interestingly, John has a passion for food and cooking and to provides some light-hearted tips to make people's lives greener while enjoy the good life with everyday practical tips from brewing tea, growing basil, or drinking raw milk.