Ahhh, the sounds of summer. Ice cubes in a glass, kids playing on the street, and the roar of the gas lawnmower. Odd that in a world where recycling, fair trade coffee, and organic vegetables are the norm, we can still buy gas powered lawn mowers.

Gas lawn mowers produce pollution. A lot of pollution. On a national average 10% of all green house gasses are produced by these little terrors, and in an urban airshed like Vancouver or Toronto, they contribute 30% of the total air pollution during the summer. Not only that, because they are inefficient and have no pollution abatement equipment, they produce higher amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (probable cancer causing agents), volatile organic compounds (key precursors to smog) and greenhouse gases. 

One gas lawn mower pollutes as much in an hour as driving a new car to work for two months. Add to that the approximately 15 million liters of gasoline that is spilled every year in Canada by jittery-handed lawn cutters, and you have a real problem. 

There are two great alternatives: Electric and reel mowers. Both are better than gas mowers, but by far the best option is the old fashioned reel or push mower. They produce zero pollution and you don’t have to bag the clippings. Mulching clippings increases biological activity in the lawn, supports drainage, and diverts grass clippings from the landfill.

Just think. If we banned gas lawn mowers we could meet our Kyoto commitments in the course of one summer. 

This environmental politics stuff is easy. Vote for me.

Gas Lawn Mowers