Happy Belated Earth Day!

Well, okay, this isn’t really about Earth Day. In fact, I rarely pay attention to Earth day. It’s like a Hallmark holiday for the planet–telling us that if we can just pay attention one day a year, we’re great people and everything will be okay. Most readers will already be attuned to the fact that adopting a vegan diet is one of the biggest things you can do for the environment.

Adopting a vegan diet has a greater impact in the fight against global warming than switching to a hybrid car does.

–  GoVeg.com, Eating Your Way to a Smaller ‘Ecological Footprint’

That being said, we’re always trying to challenge ourselves. Or, in this case, Amy’s mom helped to challenge us; last summer she bought us a push mower for our yard. The push mower is the bike of lawn mowers.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that gas-powered push mowers emit as much nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons per hour as 11 cars. Riding mowers emit as much as 34 cars.

Union of Concerned Scientists, Low-Cost, Low-Impact Landscaping

One of the key reasons for this is the lack of regulation for lawn mowers. As slow as it’s going, the fight for better vehicle fuel standards is moving along. But what about lawn mowers? As bad as 11 cars?! Granted you’re probably only mowing 1 -2 hours a week, if that. But that’s 11 – 22 car hours–which isn’t trivial, by any stretch of the imagination.

Now, like biking, this is probably only a feasible option for folks with a sufficiently small lawn (well, you can bike if you have a big lawn, but not too big of a commute). Push mowing doesn’t take any more time, but does require a substantially greater amount of energy. But look on the bright side–after a few weeks, you’ll be able to crush a human skull with one hand.

It may also be worth noting that our mower is quite old; Amy’s mom found it at a garage sale and had the blades sharpened at a local hardware store. It’s very heavy. There are new mowers available that are as light as 20 lbs.

You’re already committed to the environment–why not take another small step?

5 comments ↓

#1 Lauren on 04.28.10 at 12:29 pm

After reading your post, I’m actually going to do it. I’m shopping for a push mower as soon as I hit “submit.”

Thanks!

#2 Katherine Keyes on 04.29.10 at 12:07 pm

Is that a starfish on the tree root/ground between the push mower and the bike?

#3 Margaret Leaf on 04.29.10 at 12:28 pm

Yay! We use a newer push mower and it's a great workout!

#4 Amy Sacksteder on 04.30.10 at 11:11 pm

Just a root, our little starfish root.

#5 Plucky Stucky on 05.12.10 at 6:04 pm

Antique push mowers rock! We found one for one whole dollar at an Estate sale when we bought our house. No gym membership necessary 🙂

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