Did you know the average lawn mower emits as much smog-forming
pollution as eight new cars traveling at 55 miles per hour? Lawn
mowers, hedge trimmers, chain saws and leaf blowers represent a
significant source of air pollution, according to the
Union of Concerned Scientists
(UCS). But there are a few things you can do to reduce the negative
environmental impact of your lawn care:
1. Perform routine maintenance
as recommended in the owner's
manual. To keep your lawn tools performing at maximum efficiency,
regularly change the motor oil, clean or replace air filters and do
2. Keep blades sharp
on cutting tools so you spend less time
running the motor.
3. Clean underneath your lawn mower's deck
resistance and maximum efficiency.
4. Use the correct mix of fuel and oil
for equipment with
two-stroke engines. Many lawn tools use two-stroke engines that are
lightweight, less expensive and slightly more powerful for their
size than the four-stroke engines found on most cars. But an
incorrect mix of fuel and oil for your engine type will decrease
its efficiency and increases pollution. Check your owner's manual
to see which kind of engine your lawn tools use. And when the time
comes to replace your current tools, choose models with four-stroke
engines, which are more efficient and generate less
5. Avoid spilling gas
when filling your mower's gas tank.
When gasoline evaporates it contributes to air pollution, so use a
funnel to pour gas into the tank, and be sure not to overfill
6. Replace old yard equipment with electric-powered options.
While the initial cost may be higher than their gas-powered
counterparts, electric mowers can be 50 percent less expensive to
operate over a 10-year life span because of lower fuel costs.
7. Use manual tools
such as push mowers, pruning shears,
rakes or brooms ? you'll eliminate pollution and get more