Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Battery-powered lawn care can make a difference

The season of green and growing grass and lawn care is here and I am joining the chorus in praise of battery-powered electric lawn care equipment!

I recently purchased a new mower, which has improved my lawn care, and will also help to improve the life of future generations on this planet. My new mower is self-propelled and runs on a battery. It replaces a smaller battery-powered mower I used for 20 years. How the technology has changed! I tire out before the battery does, and it recharges in 3-4 hours. I don’t need to worry about gasoline, pull starts, or maintenance. And the lawn looks great.

I’ve learned there is an array of lawn care and other equipment, including string trimmers, riding mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers and more that are battery powered. With the advances in battery technology have come greater efficiency and reliability. If you are looking for ways to mitigate climate change, this is a good place to begin. The two-stroke engines of gas lawn tools can emit 20 to nearly 300 times the harmful emissions of a car. Battery motors produce zero emissions.

If you are not mowing yourself, a number of lawn care services are turning to battery-powered tools.

Currently, Green Mountain Power is offering a number of rebates on battery powered lawn equipment, purchased in Vermont — my rebate check came last week.

This is also a good time to think about the amount of lawn you mow. Consider not mowing a section of your lawn … perhaps a perimeter strip of six feet. It doesn’t sound like much, but it provides additional crucial habitat for bees, butterflies, and other critters. One half of my yard is left to grow through the summer, and is home to fireflies, butterflies, frogs, dragonflies and a host of other “neighbors.” A brush hog in the fall ensures that it stays open.

Mowing less lawn and using battery-powered equipment may seem like small practices, but if there are many of us employing them, then there is a greater cumulative impact. We can work together to pass on a livable planet to future generations.

Heidi Willis

Addison County Interfaith Climate Network

Salisbury

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