It appears Iâ€™m on a bit of an environmental kick these days.Â Todayâ€™s issue, gas lawn mowers.Â A friend recently suggested an entry on the gas guzzling environmentally challenged lawn mowing practices of suburban America (my words not theirs, but, the idea was the same).Â At first I did not take the topic all that seriously.Â How much damage can that little tiny lawn mower engine do anyway, right?
Well, quite a bit, it appears.Â A few fun facts about lawn care (gas mower style):
One hour of mowing (my son takes around 90 minutes on our lawn at home) is the equivalent of driving 350 miles in your car, in terms of volatile organic compounds.
One hour of mowing emits the same amount of pollutants as eight new cars, driving at 55 MPH for the same amount of time.
Garden equipment engines make up roughly 5% of the nations overall air pollution, and significantly more than that in metropolitan areas.
Not everyone believes in Global Warming, or an environmental crisis.Â So, lets look at it from another standpoint, a dwindling natural resource (oil) and the old fashioned bottom line (money):
Weekly, around 54 million Americans mow their lawns, to do so they use roughly 15 million gallons of gas (thatâ€™s $60 million at todayâ€™s average pump price).Â Over the course of a year that is 800 million gallons, ($3.2 billion dollars).
The EPA estimates that annually 17 million ($68 million) of those gallons are spilled while filling lawn equipment (this has a direct effect on the quality of ground water, last environmental comments I promise-ish), more than all of the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
If I had a dime for every gallon of gas that will be spilled around the country this year alone, Iâ€™d be comfortably retired by Christmas.Â Iâ€™m not sure I can work that deal out, however, so instead Iâ€™m going to start advocating that people take some action on this individually.Â For example, if you can, get a push mower (they have cordless electric ones). A reel mower, in addition to being better for the environment, will actually make your lawn look better than a rotary mower, and the blades only have to be sharpened every 8-10 years (as opposed to annually with a rotary mower).Â Either that, or send me that dime, and we’ll call it even…
Note: lawn care facts from here