Gas versus electric?

As we head into spring and the weather warms, it’s time to start with the yard work again. I want to write about something that quite honestly I had not thought too much about and was surprised by some of the facts I learned.

When it comes to lawn mowers, should you use an electric or gas mower if you want to cut your grass in the most environmentally way possible? Well, the MOST responsible way to cut your grass is to use a push mower, which does not use gas or electricity, just your muscle power. However, this is not realistic for the majority of homeowners with larger yards. If you have a very small yard, however, that may be a good option for you.

The next best option in terms of the environment is the electric mower. Electric mowers are available corded or cordless. Electric lawn mowers have multiple benefits, including no spark plugs, fuel filters or oil to change. They do not need to be refilled with gasoline, and they are more quiet than gas mowers. Corded mowers limit your mobility, however they will not run out of power before you're done with the lawn. Cordless mowers have different charging times, cutting paths, and mow time before the battery runs out, so please make sure you do research on the different options before you purchase.  

All electric lawn mowers, whether corded or cordless, must be charged or plugged in while in use, so they are not carbon-neutral because electricity in Ohio is still largely powered by coal. Even so, the amount of carbon emitted from the electricity used to power the mower falls way under the amount of carbon emitted by gas mowers. 

Gas lawn mowers are, surprisingly, much worse for the environment than I thought. Every year over 800 million gallons of gasoline are used in lawn mowers. Furthermore, lawn mowers are responsible for up to 5 percent of the nation’s air pollution. According to the U.S. EPA, one new gas lawn mower used for an hour produces the amount of air pollution from emissions as 11 new cars being driven for an hour! Aside from emissions, the EPA estimates that over 17 million gallons of fuel are spilled each year while refueling lawn equipment. Gas spillage contaminates groundwater and the amount that evaporates into the air contributes to smog. 

What should you do? If you are in the market for a new mower this year, please seriously consider purchasing an electric one. Make sure you research the different types to ensure you are purchasing one that fits your lawn’s needs. If you are not in the market for a mower and use a gas mower still, take extra precaution while filling it so that you do not spill gasoline.

If you have a mower that no longer works, drop-off metal recycling is now available in Bay Village. You can recycle items such as grills, lawn mowers and other bigger items by dropping them off at the Bay Village Service Center. The next drop off will be Friday, May 25, between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. This collection takes place on the same days as bulk trash drop-off. 

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 10:02 AM, 05.01.2018