Who Knew?! Repost from Progressive Blogic

3 May

Here are some startling and downright scary facts from dirtworks.net andpeoplepoweredmachine.com  about the amount of pollution produced by our gas powered lawn toys, such as mowers, snow blowers, leaf-blowers, and weed-wackers.

  • According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), gas powered lawn mowers represent 5% of U.S. Air Pollution.
  • One hour of mowing is the equivalent of driving 350 miles in terms of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • One gas mower spews 87 lbs. of the greenhouse gas CO2, and 54 lbs. of other pollutants into the air every year.
  • Over 17 million gallons of gas are spilled each year refueling lawn and garden equipment – more oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
  • Each year, Americans use 800 million gallons of gasoline keeping their yards tidy.
  • Garden equipment engines, which have had unregulated emissions until very recently, emit high levels of carbon monoxide, VOC’s and NOx producing up to 5% of the nation’s air pollution and a good deal more in metropolitan areas.
  • According to the EPA, a traditional gas powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars each being driven 12,000 miles (emphasis added).
Graphic c/o EPA and peoplepoweredmovement.com

To me, the other factor is the annoying and likely unhealthy noise pollution that is generated from these high-powered machines.  There are times during the summer where you cannot carry on a normal conversation in the house, if our windows are open when a riding mower is operating next door.

Below is some data about the not-so-green aspects of leaf blowers from ecocycle.org:

A 2000 report by the California EPA determined that the average residential leaf blower produces 145 times more hydrocarbons, 7.5 times more carbon monoxide, and 11 times more particulate matter in one hour than a 1999-2000 light duty vehicle driven at 30 mph, getting 15 miles to the gallon. The hydrocarbon emissions produced from one-half hour of residential leaf blower operation are equal to the emissions produced from driving 2200 miles, comparable to a round trip from Denver to San Diego. Commercial leaf blowers with more horse power are even more polluting.

Snow blowers present mush the same problem for those of use in northern latitudes, unless you are like me and you prefer to torture your back all winter – forced exercise I call it, but I doubt sure my back would agree.


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