Monday, July 4, 2016

Battery Powered Lawn Mowers, So Awesome!!!

     I am not a lawn guy, please don't ask me questions about grass care because my answer is "don't worry about it, we live on the grassland, it grows quite naturally!!!" I rate mowing the lawn somewhere between washing dishes and vacuuming the car, it might need to be done but I don't feel like doing it right now!
     15 years ago I bought the cheapest electric lawn mower money could buy. I grew up with the corded electric mower, always careful to never mow over the cord! I enjoyed the lightness of the machine and ease of starting but if cords aren't your thing this might be too hard for you! I always thought of it as lawn mowing crossed with rodeo. Alas, this cheap mower eventually broke, not the motor or anything technical just the thin metal eventually broke where the wheel was attached.
     A couple of years ago I bought a used gas mower from a friend at a good price. It was fine but heavy, almost too big for my complicated borders and then the gas issue. I never grew up with gas powered anything, call me sheltered, I don't like filling a jerry can, storing it and pulling that stupid cord to start it. If a gas mower doesn't start on the first couple of pulls it suddenly becomes an endurance sport akin to training for the Olympics, damn! it's flooded let's give it 10 minutes.

     This year I finally broke down and bought a battery powered, cordless, gasless, lawn mower and think it's the best thing since diswashers!

          These mowers come in 3 sizes and price ranges, we went mid range based on how long the battery stays charged for, in this case the 40 volt last about 40 minutes, just enough time to mow my front and back yards. A person can also get another battery, for a couple of hundred bucks, if you need more time. I think for the small lawns of new suburbs the low or mid range would work just fine. The batteries take about an hour to charge, or less, I haven't timed it, and also come with a light up power indicator.

     I'm not plugging a specific brand, this was what was available when we were out that day, I'm sure there are many kinds available, have a look online. What I like best about these mowers is I can easily pick it up by the handle on top, it must weigh under 40 lbs. I have so many complicated areas that a mower can't easily maneuver so picking it up suits me very well. These machines are also much quieter with no vibrations or exhaust issues, all in all I am very happy with this purchase, around 300 dollars.

     If I haven't changed your mind yet please consider these environmental factors;

From the EPA and Environment Canada sources

- Lawn mowers represent 5% of US air pollution, each weekend 54 million Americans mow their lawns using 800 million gallons of gasoline per year. Garden equipment had zero regulations until the late 1990's and produce carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.

-One gas lawn mower produces the same amount of pollution in one hour of use as 11 new automobiles.

-The EPA estimates that 17 million gallons of fuel per year are spilled filling gas lawn mowers, this is more than the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

-According to the Ministry of the Environment-Canada, running an older model gas lawn mower  for one hour is equivalent in air pollution to driving a new car 550 km.

-Gas mowers produce intense amounts of ground Ozone which can be damaging to plants and affect the health of children, Ozone can damage your lungs.

-From the Clean Air Foundation, cordless electric mowers produce 50% less noise than their gas counterparts. Hearing damage occurs around 90 decibels and gas mowers produce sound over 100 decibels (dB).
Here are some decibel ratings;
- normal conversation 60dB
-cordless battery lawnmower 75dB
-gasoline powered lawnmower 100dB
-gasoline powered leaf blower 105dB
-car horn 110dB
-jet engine  130dB

So, it's not just me, peoples lawn mowers and leaf blowers really are loud! I don't want to hear your loud leaf blowing any more than your screaming children or constant barking dog either, so if we can't stop the latter two we can at least stop the loud equipment, no!?!?
The environmental impact was not foremost in my mind, I just wanted something easier than the giant heavy gas one I was using but now I have done just a small amount of reading I think it was a really good choice. For those of us who live in cities it is literally the least we can do for our communities and neighbours!

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