A single gas-powered leaf blower can emit as much pollution in one hour as dozens of cars operating for the same period of time.
But it's not only the leaf blowers. Typical gas mowers are also big consumers of energy. They are responsible for about 5% of the world’s pollution, which is awesome. And the same is true for snow blowers, power tillers or chainsaws: they have a low energy-efficiency and a very negative impact on the environment.
Fortunately, there has been a quiet revolution in the engines of yard equipment over the last few years. New equipment can provide energy savings up to 70%.
In North America that has been accomplished through the CARB/EPA 50-state emissions standards. Equipment compliant with these standards can make a big difference.
Obviously, for light tasks, you should consider manual gardening tools. It's the best way to protect the environment. Do not let yourself be fooled by the attractiveness of new-tech dreams.
Manual Garden Tools
Electric mowers and other electric gardening equipment are typically quieter and consume less energy than gas units. And many manufacturers are also claiming that they are emission-free.
But such claiming isn't true, unless your electricity comes from renewable sources.
Besides, electric yard equipment can be rather useless for heavy tasks. They lack the horsepower of gas equipment. That’s the case of most electric tillers and electric snow blowers. They only work well for very light tasks, where manual tools may not require a significant physical effort.
Gas chainsaws cut faster and are the best option for heavy outdoor tasks. But they are noisy, high-maintenance and, typically, very polluting. If you need a gas chainsaw look for a CARB/EPA 50-state emissions standards compliant unit. They have lower emissions and are more efficient.
But first consider electric chainsaws. Electric corded chainsaws can be good alternatives to gas units.
Rakes offer a carbon-free alternative to polluting and inefficient leaf blowers.
Gas leaf blowers are energy wasters; even electric leaf blowers are rather unnecessary machines for average yards.
Electric mowers are quiet and better for the environment than gas mowers, but that doesn't mean that they are a good choice or that they are eco-friendly: electric mowers only become really eco-friendly when equipped with a solar panel to charge their batteries or when the electricity is green.
On the other hand, gas powered mowers are a better option for very large lawns. They have more horsepower.
For small lawns, if you are ready for some exercise, consider a new reel mower. New models are a lot more effective than older reel mowers.
For small and average yards prefer electric trimmers over gas trimmers. For occasional use prefer good-quality grass and hedge shears.
Electric snow blowers are cheaper and easier to use than gas snow blowers. But they only are effective for removing small snow.
Gas snow blowers are the only good choice for heavy snow cleaning, especially two-stage gas blowers with four-stroke engines. They are also the only blowers to have a reasonable energy-efficiency.
Besides, they are expensive machines, difficult to use and to maintain. And this raises a question: if your snow clearing needs are beyond your physical capacity, why not ask or pay someone to do it? That’s often the best choice.
Power tillers are becoming popular in home gardening, but small electric and gas units can easily fall short of expectations. For occasional use consider renting a tiller instead of buying. Renting or borrowing a tiller is often the best option...
For light tasks in non-compacted soils prefer traditional garden hoes and shovels.
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