The traditional suburban house with a perfectly manicured green lawn is slowly becoming extinct. More and more, homeowners are opting for landscaping that is friendlier to the environment than a big expanse of green. Giving up the lawn doesn’t mean giving up grounds keeping, however, and conventional lawn mowers and other gas-powered yard tools account for 5 percent of air pollution in the United States. With numbers like that, it’s a smart move to look for some better options for maintaining an HOA-approved yard.
According to recent EPA estimates, operating a gas-powered lawn mower for one hour generates the same amount of air pollution as a car driven for 45 minutes. That’s not even taking into account how much gas is spilled during refueling.
So, what’s an eco-conscious green-thumb to do? Fortunately, there are options ranging from human-powered to solar-powered, and they’re all pretty amazing.
Electric and Cordless
Sure, they still require electrical power, but plug-in, rechargeable and battery-operated models are a cleaner option. The EPA estimates that if 1,000 gas-powered mowers were replaced with electric models, it would eliminate 9.8 million tons of harmful VOCs annually. That’s like taking 230 cars off the highways!
Old school wheel mowers are making a comeback and for good reason. They produce zero emissions, require no power or batteries and give the user a terrific workout while they mow their lawn.
Yes, the few solar-powered models available are really expensive. And yes, there are very few to choose from. But that may be a thing of the past. More companies are looking into solar-powered lawn-care equipment.
From lawn mowers to weed whackers, edgers, and even chainsaws, gas-powered models are dirtier and noisier than their cleaner alternatives. If you keep your eyes open, you might even find rebates in your area that reward you for making the switch to electric.
And if all that seems just a bit too much, you could always rent a goat.