Green Living

Recylcing Disposing of an Old Lawn Mower in an Environmentally Responsible Way

When well maintained and cared for, your lawn mower can last a very long time.

But even the life of a best cared for machine comes to an end. You might also be ready for an upgrade. Or, you might be looking for a smaller or lighter machine. You might want an electric mower instead of a gas mower.

Whatever your reason, please dispose of your old lawn mower in an environmentally responsible way.  You don’t want your machine to end up in a landfill leaking oil, rusting and poisoning the soil or water resources.

Here are a few  helpful tips and information for available resources:

  • If your old mower is in good shape, give it  to a charity like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Someone might find good use for it.
  • Many parts of your lawn mower machine are recyclable, so it’s a good idea to call your local recycling center to see if they accept lawn mowers. Also, many communities have lawn mower exchange days. These are programs where people bring their old lawn mower to be recycled and can buy another model if they find the one they like.
  • Call a scrap metal or junk company and see if they will pick up your lawn mower and take it away for you.
  • Earth911.com is an informative website that provides a detailed and comprehensive database of lawn mower recycling centers across the US. If you make your recycling selection and enter your zip code, you will be directed to the nearest recycling center in your area that accepts lawn mowers.
  • Freecycle.org is a website dedicated to the idea of recycling and reusing everything around us. On this website you can enter your location and post the items that you would like to give away. This service is free of charge. Frequently, you will contacted by someone who is looking exactly for the lawn mower that you would like to get rid of, whether for refurbishing, scrap metal or parts.
  • Many of the Briggs & Stratton dealers have a program where they will recycle your used lawn equipment for you free of charge. Check to see if there is one in your area.

Green Lawn Ideas

People are starting to realize more and more how unhealthy and environmentally unbalanced our obsession with a perfect green lawn is.

Thinking differently

Think differently

In some parts of the country (areas with lots of precipitation) green lawns are easy to grow and easy to maintain.

In other areas, green lawns go against the very nature of the local climate conditions and the surrounding habitat.

Where do you live? What grows around your house? If you live in Arizona, do you need to have a lush, green and  perfectly cut green lawn?

We need to rethink out attitudes towards our homes, gardens and the environemnt we live in.

  • Why spend hours cultivating perfect grass  or eliminating weeds by using harmful chemicals? Start by working with the climate and the eco system of your area. The more you rely and respond to what is already there, to what is native to your eco system, the easier your life will be. Most importantly, diverse range of plants are stronger, healthier and  more sustainable than a monoculture of bluegrass.
  • Don’t be obsessed about having a perfect lawn and cutting your grass every few days. Let more time pass between cuttings and you will enjoy the outdoors more, release fewer pollutants into the environment by using less gas, and leave beneficial bees and insects undisturbed in their habitats.
  • Downsize the area of your lawn, and you will have less grass to cut. Dig up a vegetable and a flower garden. Plant fruit trees. Make your yard diverse, different, interesting – a reflection of yourself.
  • Stop watering your lawn.  Watering your lawn wastes huge amounts of water. So what if your grass gets brown and a little sparse in places in the middle of a the summer? Come fall, it will be green and lush again.
  • Try using an old fashioned reel mower. These machines are quiet, green, very low maintenance and easy to store. They will also give you an excellent aerobic exercise.
  • If you have a large lawn and a reel mower is not a practical option, consider an electric mower.  Electric mowers are much cleaner for the environment than gas mowers.

Healthy Lawn Without Chemicals

  • Raise your lawn mower blade to cut at 2.5 inches
  • Longer grass prevents weeds from germinating
  • Keep your lawn mower blade very sharp so it does not pull out the grass roots
  • Don’t Bag Grass Clippings – use them as mulch

Eco Friendly Lawn Mowers

According to the EPA, almost 10 percent of pollution in the US comes from lawnmower emissions.
Consider the statistics:

  • typical walk-behind gas lawnmowers emit as much pollution per hour as 11 cars
  • typical riding mowers emit as much pollution as 34 cars

Trading your polluting lawn mower for a low-emissions machine that runs on propane, bio-diesel or electricity makes sense in more ways than one.

Propane Lawn Mowers
EPA designates propane as a cleaner-burning fuel that is typically 30 % cheaper than gasoline. When compared with conventional lawn mowers, propane machines reduce emissions by about 80%. Propane is also much milder to your lawn mower engine, resulting in an engine that lasts 2-3 times longer because of fewer carbon deposits.

Biodiesel Lawn Mowers
A variety of biodiesel fuels (using a mixture of diesel gasoline and biofuels) are available on the market. Biodiesel comes in different levels: from B2 (2 percent bio-fuel and 98 percent petroleum), all the way up to B100. The cost of biodiesel fluctuates just as gasoline prices do. For up to date pricing, see the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Price Report, part of the Clean Cities Initiative.

Electric Lawn Mowers
Greener than any gas lawn mower, electric machines are clean and save money in gas and maintenance. Running an electric mower costs approximately $5 in electricity. Electric lawn mowers have no carbon emissions. Still, it is important to remember that even these machines have a cost –  the power used to run electric lawn mowers or the power to charge their batteries still creates emissions.

Push Lawn Mowers
The only 100% emission and pollution free lawn mower is the manual, muscle powered, old fashioned push mower.

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