A Clean (Green) Alternative to Fall Lawn Clean-up
Fall is in the air and it’s time to get busy blowing those never ending leaves off the lawn and trimming the shrubs one last time before winter sets in. It’s the season for fall clean up. Right? Funny thing, did you know that just by the act of running a gas powered blower or hedge trimmer, you are actually adding more carbon to the atmosphere – carbon that contributes to air pollution and climate change? So it turns out fall cleanup is not so clean for the environment, unless, you have discovered the cleaner alternative to small, spark-ignition gasoline-fueled lawn and garden equipment (without the tether of a heavy-duty electrical cord). If you and your old gas powered tools are still polluting the neighborhood with carbon and noise, and you hate dragging around yards of heavy electric cord, it’s time to consider replacing your trusty old trimmer or blower with a new cordless battery-powered, model.
Benefits of battery operation.
Beside the obvious advantage of not adding to your carbon footprint, there are other positive outcomes from choosing a gasless model over a gas-powered lawn tool.
1 First, the battery-operated engine will not damage your hearing, or add to noise pollution in the neighborhood. In fact, most battery-operated equipment runs so quietly, you don’t need ear protection to operate it.
2 After your initial investment in the battery pack, you will reap substantial savings in operating costs – with no gas to buy.
3 Gasless lawn equipment eliminates the hazards of handling combustible liquids and breathing noxious fumes.
4 Battery-operated models are easy to operate – and they can go to work right out of the box.
5 There is no complicated or bothersome maintenance.
6 Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) operated tools have increased power and run time, with less weight.
Fit the tool to the use.
Before you buy, it’s a good idea to make sure you know how you will be using your equipment, so you purchase the best option for your situation. Many manufacturers of cordless rechargeable lawn and garden tools are abandoning nickel-cadmium batteries for lithium-ion (Li-Ion) cells, which promise lighter weight and longer run timers. If you’re an infrequent, light-duty user it probably wouldn’t make sense to pay a premium for a Li-Ion-powered tool. If you will use the equipment frequently for longer more heavy-duty tasks, it might be a good idea to consider one with a Li-Ion cell.
Pay close attention to run and charge times. Equipment manufacturers specifications will indicate the length of time the cell can run on a charge and the time it will take for a recharge. You will need to follow charging and use patterns, especially with Li-Ion batteries; otherwise they might not last as long as you’d expect.
Not everybody needs maximum power and run time. Don’t go by voltage. Look for work-saving features. The newer cordless battery lawn and garden tools have longer run times, letting you do more work with fewer pauses to charge or change batteries.
Recharge times of 30 minutes or less are another advantage. Check battery prices. Some NiCd replacement cells cost as little as $25 compared with $90 or more for many Li-Ion and NiMH cells which make it more economical to purchase several batteries to extend operating time. Some manufacturers offer multiple tools that can be operated by one battery, letting you build a collection of equipment with a single power source for less.
What it means to go “green.”
As battery technology advances, more and more lawn equipment will be available in clean, quiet and hardworking gasless models. Already, you can find battery-operated grass trimmers, blowers, hedge trimmers, lawn mowers and chain saws. As these products get more plentiful and less expensive, there is really no reason not to take a look at the future of lawn care…without the ear-splitting noise, choke of gasoline fumes, and carbon-stoked emissions. Keep your lawn clean and “green” at the same time… and just imagine how quiet it could be on Saturday morning when you hit the lawn chores at 7:30 a.m.…while some of your neighbors are still sleeping in.