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Get "Real" with Reel Mowers

     by John Davis

Reel mowers are  thought to be outdated, forgotten relics, powered solely by the person pushing.  In fact, reel mowers never left. It's a good thing too, since they have major advantages over their gas-powered cousins.
A number of companies produce modern reel mowers that are a world apart from those produced a generation ago. These new models weigh in at 20 to 30 pounds-- much lighter than their rusty forbears, and lighter still than a walk-behind gas mower, which can weigh from 80 to 100 pounds.

Reel mowers are light on cost, too. Depending on size, a basic reel mower will cost about 100 to 200 dollars, or maybe even a little less.  Compare that to a walk-behind gas mower  which costs up to $600 dollars.

Making the switch to a reel mower will also save the environment from a load of pollutants. During an hour-long trip around the lawn, a walk-behind power mower produces the same amount of pollutants as a 50-mile car ride. If that same mower lasts 7 years, it will emit 28 pounds of hydrocarbons, 300 pounds of carbon monoxide, and 1400 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Smoke and smog is not all that power mowers emit. In terms of decibels, the sound they produce is equivalent to the crack of a .22 caliber rifle. Switching to reel mowers will eliminate a major source of neighborhood noise pollution.quiet zone

The extra effort of pushing your mower around isn't such a bad thing, either. An hour of mowing will burn about 400 calories. So, the switch to a reel mower is not only better for the environment and your neighborhood, it's better for you too.

A few facts about power mowers (courtesy of Country Home Products):
  • A typical gasoline-powered lawn mower emits more than 87 pounds of climate-changing carbon dioxide a year.
  • Mowing with a gasoline-powered mower can pollute 100 acres of a neighborhood with noise.
  • With over 54 million Americans mowing their lawns every weekend, producing a staggering 4.6 billion pounds of CO2 each year.
  • Gasoline-powered lawn mowers cause at least 5 percent of the nation's total air pollutants.
  • Just one gas-powered lawn mower used for a year can pollute as much as 43 new cars driven for a year.
  • Each year homeowners spill 17 million gallons of gasoline when refilling their lawn equipment, which contaminates soil and groundwater.
  • Replacing 450 dirty gas-guzzling mowers with rechargeables will keep 2.2 tons of smog-forming volatile organic compound emissions out of the atmosphere each year.

John Davis is a Green Living Journal reader.

7,565 neighbors have viewed this article.

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