Choosing a Green Lawn Mower

Lawn MowerIt’s a beautiful Saturday morning and as you open your shed door or raise your garage door to pull out your lawnmower, you find yourself in a weekly competition with your neighbors on who can make the most noise and expelled the most harmful environmental exhausts from their poorly design lawn mower engine.

But, your neighbor across the street has changed his game. He’s strutting across his verdant lawn pushing a surprisingly quiet, clean and colorful mower.

You exchange tempered pleasantries with him while sizing up his new weapon of lawn maintenance. His tool of choice is a sleek, cutting-edge electric mower. What? Electric and where’s the cord?

In comparison, your gas-powered brute is an outdated Sherman tank. Maybe its time to give your neighbor what you imagine to be a coolly confident smile, before you quickly dash inside to do some online shopping for a new electric mower.

If you can make one modest purchase this year to reduce your carbon footprint, switch out your gas powered mower for either an electric or battery mower. That’s assuming you don’t own nor operate a leaf blower – they’re even more harmful to tne environment.

Gas mowers leave a huge carbon footprint. According to the EPA, in one year, the average gas mower produces 88 pounds of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Additionally, gas mowers produce carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), and nitrous oxides (another greenhouse gas).

In fact, replacing 1,000 gas mowers with electric mowers would reduce VOC pollution by 9.8 tons. Furthermore, gas spills often occur with gas motors. 17 million gallons of gas are spilled annually by lawn equipment. Nonetheless, electric motors do contribute to your carbon footprint, although the amount depends on the plant in which the electricity was generated. Environmentally, the best mower is the reel mower. The reel mower produces no pollution and leaves no carbon footprint.

The Price An average electric push mower costs about the same as a gas push mower upfront. However, an electric push mower cheaper in the long run because electric is usually cheaper than gasoline.  The average reel mower is about $100 less gas and electric models – simple and fewer moving parts.

The Power  Gas mowers are more powerful than their electric counterparts. However, an electric mower works just as well as a gas mower for the average lawn. A reel mower, on the other hand, is powered by your muscles. It can be strenuous to cut the lawn with a reel mower, so be prepared for a workout – but you’ll quickly get used to it.

Additionally, it is sometimes difficult to mow tall grass with a reel mower. People with reel mowers need to mow regularly to ensure that their grass doesn’t grow too tall to cut.

The Hassle Electric mowers must be charged the day before you mow your lawn. Gas mowers must be filled with gasoline before you mow your lawn. Reel mowers don’t require any preparation.

All need to be sharpened occasionally.

Consider these five push mower models – all classics Scotts 20-Inch Classic Push Reel Lawn Mower, or the GreenWorks 16-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower or the Great States 16-Inch Push Reel Lawn Mower

Or, if electric fits your needs better, consider these electric options – GreenWorks Electric Lawn Mower or Black & Decker 18-Inch Electric Mower or Black & Decker 19-Inch Cordless Electric Lawn Mower


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.