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Buying Environmentally-Friendly Lawn mowers

by Alex Russel, All About Lawns Columnist

Environmentalists have long said that higher oil prices would push consumers towards more environmentally-friendly products. Recent anecdotal evidence may be proving them right.

According to the Scripps Howard news service, shoppers are taking a new interest in electrical and manual lawn mowers instead of diesel-fueled motorized mowers.

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Electrical Lawn Mowers

In Knoxville, Tennessee, salespeople at Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse say they sell a good number of electric mowers. Bill Kleber, a salesman for Mayo Garden Centers, says the store probably sells 10 to 15 reel mowers a year to people who have small yards and don't want to invest in gas-powered machines. "A lot of the people have had it with gas," Dave Conant, a Colorado hardware salesman, says. "They have small lawns and don't want to deal with the noise or the fumes."

Saving On Lawn Mowers

They also probably don't want to deal with the expense: top-of-the-line electric mowers cost about $250, while his least-expensive gas mower costs $300.

According to the Denver Regional Air Quality Council, diesel lawn and garden equipment, including mowers, trimmers and leaf blowers, accounts for about ten percent of summertime ground-level ozone. Ozone pollution contributes to smog levels and the so-called "brown cloud" effect found in most U.S. cities in the summer.

Fighting High Smog Levels

Cities have responded. Lawn-mower exchange programs are one effort being made toward reducing lawn- and garden-equipment emissions. Cities offer cash incentives to exchange an older and less efficient mower for a cleaner newer one. Since 1997, all new mowers are required to meet tougher emissions standards, prompting many makers to do away with dirty two-stroke motors.

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About the Author
Alex Russel is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Since graduating from Syracuse University he has worked at many different media companies in fields as diverse as film, TV, advertising, and journalism. He holds a dual bachelor's degree in English and History.

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