one of the dilemma’s i am running into with the burgeoning range of “earth-friendly” products is the purchasing cycle that i am immersed in - items that have reached the end of their life and need to be replaced such as lawnmowers - and the appearance of products that i would buy for their ability to meet both my needs and those of my planet but which arrive after i have already made my less-friendly purchase.
a case in point is the appearance of the solaris lawn mower. my old lawnmower - a classic two stroke - literally blew up firing oil and blue smoke with a memorable bang that caught the attention of several of my neighbours who fought their way through the cloud to see if i had survived the event.
needless to say i nipped out later that weekend and bought a newer “more efficient” model. i had thought about buying a hand mower but to be perfectly honest, those things work well on smooth small lawns. i have neither a smooth nor a small lawn and so i opted for a four-stroke machine that uses oil, gasoline and pollutes a bit less than the old beast , but pollutes nevertheless.
how much does it pollute? here are some sobering stats:
•according to the government of canada (one-tonne challenge) a typical gasoline powered lawn mower emits about 48 kilograms of greenhouse gas in one season.
•there are about 8 million gasoline powered lawn mowers sold per year in north america and europe.
•gas-powered lawn mowers are very inefficient, which means that despite their small size they produce a lot of air pollution. in fact, running an old gas-powered lawn mower for one hour can produce as much air pollution as driving a new car 550 kilometers, says the ministry of the environment for canada
•a gasoline-powered lawn mower run for an hour puts out about the same amount of smog-forming emissions as 40 new automobiles run for an hour, says the california environmental protection agency, air resources board.
so the bottom line is that the replacement of every 500 gas mowers with non-gasoline-fueled mowers would spare the air:
•212 pounds of hydrocarbons (smog ingredient) •1.7 pounds of nitrogen oxides (smog ingredient) •5.6 pounds of irritating particles •1,724 pounds of carbon dioxide
so i won’t lie and tell you that i am rushing out to buy this product because i won’t be buying one for a while yet. but i will buy it (or something equivalent) when the purchase cycle comes around again.
as mentioned above, the solaris solar-powered lawnmower has arrived and in fact was just released through home depot just over a week ago . . .
it is not cheap, checking out of the shop at around $570.00 and that’s exclusive of the solar powering station which you can look at here. the charging station checks out at $250.00. so basically you’re dropping $870 plus tax for a lawnmower which puts it beyond the reach of most people in the market for such a machine. the premise is sound though and i remain optimistic that two things will happen in this area. one, the government will offer a rebate for the purchase of an earth-friendly machine, and two the prices will come down as the technology becomes easier and cheaper to produce.
more detailed information about the solaris lawnmower and associated products can be obtained from the manufacturer.