4:32 PM CDT, July 22, 2013
I've long been aware that gas-powered lawn mowers are a major source of air pollution. Given what I'd heard about electric ones, not to mention the cost of a new machine, I had resigned myself to contributing to the damage. But when my old mower died, I took another look, and I ended up buying a zero-emission version.
It's a cordless 19-inch Black and Decker, and it cost about $350 --probably $100 more than a comparable gas model. But it doesn't need gas or oil, and it doesn't need the annual or biannual tuneups the old one did. So I figure it will be a more economical choice in the long run.
The other good news: It's quieter. I told my wife I was going to cut the grass and she wondered what I was doing instead, since she couldn't hear it inside the house. It's easy to start. Charging requires nothing more than plugging it into an outlet. It has a long enough running time to handle my relatively small yard with ease (about a 20-minute job).
And how does it mow? I'd say as well as my old gas mower, with one qualification: The cutting radius is smaller than it appears, which means overlapping each strip a bit more than I did before.
A gas mower, used 45 minutes each week, spews as much pollution in a year as a new car driven 22,000 miles. I'm glad not to be contributing to that problem. And I'm glad I didn't have to sacrifice much in exchange.
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