Monday, July 31, 2006

T-Shirt #6

BB in Sioux Falls -

Sasquatch has had similar thoughts about his mower. He learned this - "A conventional two-stroke gasoline lawnmower pollutes as much in one hour as 40 late-model cars running for the same amount of time."

I saw "An Inconvenient Truth" at the local multiplex during the one week it was in town. I firmly believe that even small things can lead to big payoffs; you just never know how your actions will influence others to take similar actions.

While you have the MinusCar Project; I have what I'll call the MinusMower Project. Earlier this summer I put away my noisy gas- and oil-guzzling 4.5 horsepower Craftsman rotary lawn mower and purchased an American push reel lawn mower for less than a hundred bucks from my brother-in-law, an Ace Hardware guy.

In the interest of full disclosure, my initial motivation for the purchase was the fact that it was hard to get that bulky gas-powered mower into my backyard. The reel mower is lightweight enough for me to pick up and carry over my deck and down the steps into the backyard.

But I discovered several things once I started using the reel mower. It always starts the first time (as long as I've had a decent breakfast), it doesn't belch out smoke, it cuts the grass just as well as my gas mower, and it makes very little noise. It's great to be able to hear the birds singing while I'm out in the yard. Granted, it takes a little longer to get the job done, but the exercise is good for me. Though with the recent lack of rainfall, I haven't had to get out in the yard for a few weeks. (I'm reluctant to purchase a sprinkler because of concerns about wasting water, but that's a whole other issue.)

I can't say that I won't ever use my gas-powered mower again. But the benefits for me and for the environment, not to mention the money I'm saving by not having to buy gas and oil, are keeping me using the reel mower. Who knows, the next step might even be the purchase of a bicycle! Ride on!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on getting a T-Shirt. I used to use a reel time mower. It actually made our grass look better. It cuts the grass as opposed to whacking it. The only draw back to the reel time mower is if the grass gets too long they are a little tougher to use. Definitely buy a bike.

Anonymous said...

How about minus grass? I've been working to fill my small urban space with low maintenance plants that actually produce food or some other tangible benefit.

While I have a mower that I've modified to increase efficiency, it is still a lot of work, money, and pollution to maintain something that I find to be useless and environmentally unfriendly in and of itself (because lawns generate lots of runoff relative to some other types of landscaping)

Jeff Moser said...

I recently bought a reel mower, and have similar feelings.