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Environmental Impact Overview – Lawn Mowers

By Denise Valenzuela

Posted in

We have spent a lot of time covering the environmental benefits that occur from installing synthetic turf lawns and commercial spaces.  One of the often overlooked environmental benefits of turf is the reduced usage of gas or electric powered lawn mowers, ride mowers and weed whackers.  Thousands of lawnmowers have been shelved in southern California due to the explosion of turfs popularity.  Here we look at the impact these dirty mowers have on the local environment.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Lawn Mowers

In 2009, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality found that an hour of gas-powered lawn mowing produces as much pollution as four hours of driving a car. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also recognized the alarming amount of pollution generated by lawn mowers. In 2008, the EPA created rules to enforce manufacturers of lawn mowers and weed whackers to cut smog-forming emissions from their products by at least 35 percent starting in 2011.

Energy Efficiency

The EPA’s “newish” rules will help consumers save money. The EPA projects that improved energy efficiency of lawn mowers will reduce demand for gasoline by 190 million gallons annually.

Although lawn mowers are not eligible for the EPA Energy Star label, there are cordless electric models that come equipped with an Energy Star-rated battery charger, which uses 35 percent less energy than standard chargers.

Smog

The EPA rules have also helped improve the health of Americans. The agency estimates that five percent of the country’s air pollution originates from the more than 50 million people cutting their grass on any given summer weekend. With the anticipated emission reductions of hydrocarbons (which cause smog), carbon monoxide (a highly toxic gas), carbon dioxide (a major cause of global warming), and particulate matter (which causes breathing trouble for humans), reductions in lung damage, asthma attacks, heart conditions, and premature deaths from exposure to air pollution should occur.

 

 

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