Saturday, April 19, 2008

In with the new ... and green

Our family's effort to reduce its carbon footprint became a bit greener Saturday when we recycled our old gas-guzzling lawn mower for a reel mower.
Each spring, King County in partnership with Seattle and the state Ecology Department holds Northwest Natural Yard Days. The program provides information on natural yard care and encourages residents to practice it with discounts on products at select retailers. This includes deals on such items as mulch, soaker hoses and electric or reel mowers.

The recycling process was pretty simple. We emptied the gas mower of fuel and oil, took it to an area transfer station (dump), where we received a $25 coupon to mail in once we bought our "green" mower.

We opted for for the Sunlawn Push Reel Mower, which had better reviews than the optional Great States version. We also bought a version not on sale at the retailer but it had more blades for better grass dicing. We still get the city's discount, I think.

A quick read of the directions, a few nuts and bolts and we were off. My husband did most of the mowing but it seemed easy enough. I especially like not having to haul the heavier gas mower out of the garage, down several steps and into multiple areas of lawn surrounded by beds.

As long as the grass isn't out of control, the workout is minimal and it takes about the same amount of time. With all the curves and twists in the lawn, it's easier to maneuver. The edging isn't as great but we have an electric weedwacker.


Nancy J. Bond said...

Good for you for doing your part to be a bit greener! You set a good example.

Gina said...

that is great that you guys traded your gas mower for this one. i want to do that myself but my guys has flat out said that, if I get the manual one, I'm doing the mowing for the rest of my life. i also like that you are getting your kid started on this mowing business early. Ha ha!

Carrie said...

That's awesome!!! If I had a yard, you would have totally inspired me to get a green mower. What do your neighbors think? I imagine it's still a bit of a novelty, no?

The Gardeness said...

Nancy: Now more than ever I'm thinking about how my decisions will shape those of my son. Must do right by him!

Gina: Oh, my husband was not entirely on board with dumping the gas mower. I think it was the saving money on gas part that probably won him over!

Carrie: A couple of our neighbors have electric mowers but we may be one of maybe two with the reel version. One neighbor isn't feeling well lately so my husband cut his lawn. That's eliminating two gas polluters!

Wicked Gardener said...

I'm very interested in this, and I'll say it is because I want to be environmentally friendly, but the truth is I'm a little phobic around electric and gas powered lawn equipment. I'm convinced someone will be loosing a limb everytime I turn one on. Perhaps I can use something like this without fear. I mean, if you baby can do it so can I, right?

Cinj said...

I would love one of those. Not only would it be great for the environment, it would also be wonderful exercise.

The Gardeness said...

Wicked: Yes, my husband tells stories of always running over the cord on the electric mowers. And my cousin actually cut off the tips of his fingers reaching under a gas mower to pull out a stick or something. Idiotic on his part and they were able to reattach the digits but YIKES!

Cinj: I totally agree! I figure if you're up for a harder workout, just let the grass grow a bit more! Actually, that's not wise. Cutting too much off can stress the lawn. Better to just give it a trim during the growing season.