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Oct 20, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

Mow Green for Mo' Green

We're down to the last third of 30 Days to a Greener You, and from here on out, we'll take a look at various steps you can consider to move beyond the "low-hanging fruit." Keep in mind that greening your life doesn't have to involve big investments; at the same time, we all do make larger purchases, so keeping our environmental footprint in mind when shopping for bigger-ticket items is a natural next step in greening our lives.

If you're a homeowner or house renter, keeping the yard and garden healthy takes a lot of work, and various kinds of tools, particularly power tools, help ease that work load. If you're cranking up a gas-powered lawn mower, leaf blower or rotor tiller, though, all of your efforts to green your gardening may be offset by the pollution that tool is belching into the atmosphere: according to a 2001 Swedish study, small engines such as lawnmowers may contribute up to 5% of the US' total air pollution.

Fortunately, greener alternatives are available. Reel mowers (you know: the "old-fashioned" lawn mowers) use only human power, and are a perfect tool for a small yard. If you still need some power for a bigger yard, consider an electric mower (many of which are now cordless), or even a solar-powered mower (they're still a bit pricey, but what a way to impress the neighbors - and avoid any emissions).

Your Action for Today:
Take a Look at Some New Tools

While you may not currently be in the market for a lawn mower, it's good know what's available. Take a look, and record what you think might work for you (and why) in your Green Journal.

  • Reel mowers are likely the greenest alternative - no fuel or batteries.
  • Solar-powered mowers have batteries that are charged by sunlight - Appropedia tells you how to build your own!
  • Electric mowers require plugging in at some point, so while they don't emit pollutants themselves, they're drawing electricity that may come from a dirty power source. Overall, they're slightly better than a gas-powered model.

And a tip for organic lawn care: leave the clippings on the lawn - they don't contribute to thatch growth, and do provide organic material for your lawn.

Tomorrow: Time for an audit

Sincerely,

Green Options

The GO Team
GreenOptions.com

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Posted: Oct 20, 2007 8:00pm

 

 
 
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