North Haven Clean Energy Task Force: Go Green in Your Backyard


By By Hugh Davis • 09/06/2022 04:00 AM EST

This is part of a series of regular columns from the North Haven Clean Energy Task Force that seeks to share everyday ways to improve energy efficiency and save money while helping the planet.

Each of us can make a difference through our daily decisions by supporting environmentally responsible public policies, but also through what we do in our own backyards.

Plenty of evidence shows that gas-powered leaf blowers and lawnmowers are major contributors to air pollution that makes climate change worse.

The several hundred million gas-powered lawn tools currently in use in the United States produce 30 to nearly 300 times the emissions of cars because they operate much less efficiently and lack the emissions capture technology that the regulation has made standard in the automobile. industry. For example, data shows that running a gas-powered leaf blower for an hour produces greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to driving a car from Texas to Alaska. You can estimate your own contribution to pollution by using the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalents Calculator on the website.

So what can we do? Buy and use battery-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers that emit no direct fossil fuel pollution and are reliable, available and affordable.

Unlike electric motors, gas engines give off significant heat during the combustion phase, thus wasting considerable energy. While lithium-ion batteries need to be recharged with electricity, this represents a small fraction of the harmful emissions produced by gas tools (and one can easily find electric providers whose energy sources are 100% green).

A growing number of products are available as global demand for electrical lawn and garden equipment is expected to grow 6% annually to reach $6.6 billion in 2025, according to a February 2022 report by Freedonia on the website A summary of the report states: “Growth will be driven by the ongoing transition from motor-driven to battery-powered equipment in many segments, and battery-powered products will account for the vast majority of gains.

An advantage if you buy more than one power tool from the same manufacturer is that you can buy one battery and use it in all devices. Additionally, battery-powered tools are more reliable than gas-powered lawn equipment. Most electric mowers and leaf blowers receive favorable reliability ratings, while no gas-powered model earns better than a satisfactory rating. And, as the quality of battery-powered equipment improves, their warranties are increasingly superior to those of gas-powered lawn tools.

California and several cities have banned or will soon ban the sale and use of gas-powered lawn equipment. But such legislation is a slow process. Deciding to buy an electric mower that mulches leaves and/or an electric leaf blower or choosing a lawn service that uses battery-powered equipment (or just buying a rake) will produce an immediate and positive change. Your neighbours, your community and the planet will thank you.


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