Every weekend the EPA estimates that more than 54 million Americans mow their lawns. Unfortunately, gas lawn mowers emissions account for as much as five percent of the nation’s total air pollution Scientific American reports.
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services reports that just 1 hour of use of a gasoline lawn mower is equal to driving 300 miles. Gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment emit air pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. These air pollutants contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and haze, which are harmful pollutants that affect not only your health, your neighbor’s health, the lawn mower operators health, it also negatively affects the environment.
Thus, many Wellesley residents are re-thinking their lawn mowing habits since there are alternatives to gas powered equipment. One of those inspiring folks is Krishna Balasubramanian. Krishna who switched not only his lawn mower but all of his landscaping tools over from gas to electric powered around a year ago. The motivation for switching to electric tools came from the noise and emissions that came along with gas powered equipment.
His method of conversion was simple, when one of his tools broke and was unrepairable, he looked for a better alternative; electric powered tools.
Not a bad strategy since gas powered mowers not only contribute CO2 into the atmosphere, but release carcinogens as well. Conversely, electric mowers work by battery power and not by burning fossil fuels, which decreases the amount of emissions going into the air, are less pollutant, cost effective, quieter and efficient.
How do they work?
Simply use the tool as usual and then charge it up afterwards so it's all set for it's next usage. Newer systems offer a longer charge time and may be more efficient for landscapers, or those mowing a bigger surface.
Krishna also wanted to point out that by signing up for Renewable Energy via the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant, you can power these electric devices with cleaner energy. Wellesley residents can pay a small premium to get some or all of their electricity from renewable sources.
Thanks Krishna for the inspiration! Others are also rethinking this act. Wellesley has had some conversations around leaf blowers. Watch it here.