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Lawn Mower Options

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

In the market for a new mower this summer? Why opt for the same old thing? Gas powered mowers aren't yet a thing of the past, but they could be soon. Here are two options that may take more green (cash, not the earth) to acquire, but they save more green in the long run (both kinds).

Go green.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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There are all sorts of negative statistics about gas mowers, including these:

  • Gas mowers comprise around 5 percent of annual pollution in the US .
  • Around 800 million gallons of gas are spent on mowers each year.
  • Some experts estimate that around 90 percent of the country's mowers use gasoline, producing exhaust containing pesky CO2, a leading cause of global warming.

Considering an electric mower? Springing for an electric mower this summer can clear your conscience, although the investment is bigger: electric mowers can cost around twice what gas mowers do, at around $350 to $400. They usually take around a day to recharge, but you can get 20-30 minutes out of a three hour charge.

  • An uncommonly known perk of electric mowers is their noise level. You'll be a more courteous neighbor by using your electric mower, which puts out an average of 75 decibels of sound (as opposed to the average gas mower's 90 decibels).
  • Not willing to switch, but guilty about being green? Not to worry; the EPA has announced new regulations for lawn mower engines, requiring a 45 percent reduction in total emissions by 2015.

Go robotic.
Remember the Roomba, the robotic vacuum cleaner? There's also something of a lawn version available to all of you hands-off gardeners and home landscapers out there. These robotic lawn mowers are said to give your lawn a professionally cut look, while alleviating all the elbow grease usually associated with the Saturday morning mow. Some landscaping and private companies are already using them, even for large areas like golf courses and country clubs.

  • Robotic mowers product zero emissions, and are said to use only $20 - $30 worth of electricity each year to charge.
  • This handy lawn companion works on uneven surfaces, around gardens and flowers, and cuts at a variety of heights.
  • You'd have to be pretty passionate about this little flying-saucer-like contraption; they can cost anywhere from $1,000 - $3,000.

Both of these choices seem too soon for you? Many gas mowers are more energy-efficient these days, but the day is coming when all you'll see are batteries and plugs when you visit the mower aisle of your hardware or home goods store.



About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor?s in American Literature from UCLA.

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