A Cleaner, Greener Garden

by Natural Resources Commissioner Laura Miller Hill

Spring is just around the corner and a great time to replace your gasoline-powered landscaping machinery with more efficient battery-powered equipment. Wonder why you should go to the expense of replacing your old machines with battery-powered equipment?

Let’s talk about noise. Gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment (GPLGE) is loud and not great for your hearing. According to the National Institutes of Health, gas-powered mowers produce 80-100 decibels of noise and leaf blowers 95-115 decibels, both louder than the average motorcycle. Unless you’re wearing hearing protection, this level of noise can cause you lose some of your hearing over time. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/listen-infographic

And what about those fumes? GPLGE exhaust fumes impact air quality and health. According to the National Institutes of Health,  just one hour of lawn mower use can produce the same emissions as driving a medium sized sedan 300 miles, and one hour of leaf blower use can produce the same emissions as driving 1,100 miles. These emissions can cause cardiovascular disease, stroke, respiratory disease, cancer, neurological conditions, and premature death. Is mowing your lawn or cleaning up your yard worth risking your health?  https://thefield.asla.org/2019/07/25/move-to-battery-powered-lawn-equipment-to-help-us-all-breath-and-hear-easier/

Think of the animals. Those birds and monarch butterflies you’ve been working so hard to attract to your garden high tail it out of there every time you crank up that old gas-powered behemoth and go looking for a nicer neighborhood to find some peace and less polluted air. And your dog? Asks to go inside the house as soon as you pull out the mower because she really hates the noises and smells that come out of that thing.

If you’re worried about how to get rid of your old machines, fear not, there are environmentally-friendly ways to retire your old gas-powered friends. GPLGEs are scrap metal, and can be taken to scrap metal drop off sites but make sure you empty the gas tank first. https://www.countyofkane.org/Recycling/Pages/dropoffLocations.aspx#scrapMetal

Think about how nice it will be to mow your lawn and clean up your yard while listening to the sounds of nature. Your human and non-human friends will thank you.