Take Care with Lawn Care
Consumers concerned about the noise and air pollution generated by gas-powered lawn mowers are increasingly turning to several low-energy, high- quality alternatives:
- Rotary mowers. Those "old fashioned" hand-powered mowers your grandparents used are making a comeback! Homeowners with smaller lawns find rotary mowers particularly appealing for their maneuverability, low maintenance costs, and minimal environmental impact.
- Electric mowers. Electric mowers emit far fewer pollutants than gasoline-powered machines, are much quieter, and are often easier to push than their gas-guzzling counterparts.
- Battery-powered mowers. Some mowers and other garden equipment operate with battery packs that can be electrically recharged. Though these mowers offer many of the same benefits as electric mowers, they do contain batteries that generally last only about five years. Because the batteries contain heavy metals, they must be disposed of in a hazardous waste facility.
Recycle Your... Lawn Mower?
Many local utilities offer discounts on new, electric powered lawn care equipment to businesses and homeowners who trade in their gasoline-powered appliances. Contact your power company to find out if you can take advantage of such an offer in your community.
Regardless of the lawn mower you use, consider these other tips for low-impact mowing:
- Mow only as often as you need to keep your lawn in good shape. For most lawns, that means cutting your grass no lower than 2.5 inches; keeping many grasses as long as 3.5 inches is ideal for crowding out crab grass and other weeds.
- Minimize the amount of pesticides and herbicides you apply to your lawn, and use organic fertilizers.
- If you're in the market for a lawn care company, seek out one that uses "natural" management practices as opposed to heavy chemical treatments.
- Leave grass clippings on the lawn after you mow to provide your lawn with a natural (and free) source of nutrients, or compost the clippings for use in your garden.
Believe It or Not!
The average gasoline mower tested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emits in one hour of operation the same amount of hydrocarbons (air pollutants) that a 1992 Ford Explorer emits over 23,600 miles!
Source: Green Seal
Reduce Landscaping & Use Less Water
The best thing you can do to conserve water and CO2 in your community is to reduce the amount of landscaping required to maintain your yard. The City of Boulder calculated that more than 50% of their drinking water is used for landscaping.
So, how do you get started? Try Xeriscaping! You may even save yourself some time and effort by using native plants that require less maintenance.
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