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The electric lawn mower: a greener alternative to a gas powered lawn mower!

Updated on December 18, 2011
Native Plant Garden (Michigan)
Native Plant Garden (Michigan)
Vegetable Garden
Vegetable Garden
Some landscaping
Some landscaping
Typical American lawn
Typical American lawn
Flowers in the lawn!
Flowers in the lawn!

The green grass growing all around, all around!

Every year residents of the United States spend millions of dollars, countless labor hours and millions of pounds of pesticides to make their lawns green. A lawn of your choosing can be much less labor intensive and more ecologically sound. The purpose of this article is to inspire you to consider making changes to your lawn that may help you to save time, money and energy.

What is the most ecologically friendly thing I can do?

About the best thing you can do is to switch over to a reel mower and use hand snips to edge your lawn; and stop using any pesticides on your yard. You'll have to mow more frequently with a reel mower, and it's good exercise! If mowing the lawn is too tiresome, then replace part or all of it with native plants, clover, short growing grasses (so called no mow grass) or other landscaping features. You'll enjoy an intimacy with nature that few people in our society do; all within the confines of your yard.

That seems too labor intensive . . . what else can I do?

If you are using a gas powered mower, you very well may want to replace it, with an electric one. Cordless electric mowers are more than adequate for small and medium sized yards; and produce considerably less pollution than do gas mowers. There are also electric riding mowers for larger lawns.

Did you know that:

Gasoline mowers create 5% of the smog pollution in the United States.

Operating a typical 3.5 horsepower gas mower for an hour produces pollution equivalent to driving a brand new car for 340 miles.

Gas spilled while fueling these mowers is estimated to be 17 million gallons per year - more than the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Gas mowers are substantially more polluting than electric mowers. That's because the small engines aren't well regulated (EPA regulations started in 2007) and don't have catalytic converters in them. Electric mowers are much less energy intensive, not only in the short run; but they don't require as much maintenance and have no spark plugs or other oily parts that need to be replaced or repaired. If money is no object, there is a company in Sweden that is manufacturing cordless mowers that are charged by the sun. Now there's a bright idea!

Aren't electric mowers too wimpy to do a good job?

Last year I had the opportunity to operate both a cordless electric mower and a corded electric mower (pros and cons here). I definitely preferred the cordless mower. Both of them provided the same amount of power as a gas mower does. With the cordless model I had the chance to mow down grass that had grown quite a bit, to 6 inches or so in length. It had no problem cutting it down to size; and though the battery did die on me (it was a rather large lawn) there was another battery already charged that I just popped in and completed the job. The problem with the corded mower was that I constantly had to maneuver the mower so it didn't hit the cord. I still preferred it to the mess, smell and noise of a gas mower. Electric mowers are quieter by far, emit no pollution at the unit (no smell or gas fumes) and aren't greasy and oily to the touch. They are by far a superior invention to their gas powered cousins. The only mower that is better, is a hand powered reel mower.


It just makes sense to switch over to a less polluting lawn. Whether you pull up all your grass and plant something more natural, get an electric or reel mower, or just mow less often; the benefits of a cleaner, quieter environment; coupled with the knowledge you are doing something to help lessen pollution, will surely make it a more rewarding summertime for you!

If you enjoyed this article, you may like this one too:

Ten things you can do to reduce pollution in the environment.

Websites of interest

No Mow Grass a positive review

No Mow Grass a negative review

Reference sites

Los Angeles Area Gas Mower Exchange Program

Get a discount on a sweet electric mower by trading in your gas one.


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