100 Day Challenge #15: Electrify your lawn equipment
We LOVE our battery-operated, electric lawn equipment. We've been using them for a few years now, and we'll never go back to gasoline lawn equipment again. There's an electric option for pretty much all lawn equipment these days; we own a mower, blower, hedger, small tiller, and an edger and they're all great! There are so many advantages to electric lawn equipment, and here are some of the highlights.
They are light weight and we can both easily maneuver them.
They are small and easy to store. They don't take up a lot of room in a garage or shed, and you don't have to store gasoline or oil.
They are OH SOOOO easy to start. That is definitely one of the biggest perks of owning electric lawn equipment. Starting a traditional mower with a pull-cord is always such a struggle. Now all we have to do is push a button!
They're quiet. You won't bother your neighbors and you can remain in the gardening “zen” while you are mowing.
They require very little maintenance. We're not very handy with equipment, so it's a huge advantage that we don't have to change spark plugs or oil.
They're good for the environment! They don't produce toxic emissions, and if you have a renewable electricity plan (see our Day 10 blog for more on that) then they're totally carbon-free! The EPA estimated that gasoline-powered lawn equipment produces up to 5% of the total air pollution in the United States. And according to the California EPA, if you run a gasoline lawnmower for an hour, it produces the same amount of smog-forming emissions as 40 cars.
One area where electric lawn equipment hasn't quite caught up yet is with ride-on lawnmowers. We had to buy a ride-on lawnmower for Yardspell (Gina's landscaping business which focuses on sustainable gardening plans and practices), and I'm sad to admit that we had to go with a gasoline-powered one. Some of our customers yards are just too large to complete with a regular size lawnmower and although we really wanted to buy an electric-powered ride-on lawnmower and keep all our equipment electric, it was just out of our price range. An electric ride-on mower cost $25,000, where a gasoline riding mower was $3000. That's a HUGE price difference, and we just hope that the cost gap reduces soon. However, most of us don't need ride-on mowers for our homes and standard sized equipment is plenty.