Being green and environmentally responsible takes a lot more than desire -- it takes $$, too. And that's something I don't have a lot of. I've been lucky when it comes to finding a truly super-efficient refrigerator at a reasonable price. GE makes two that I've found, both using something like 30% less energy than most other energy star models. I understand that Whirlpool also makes some, but I haven't see those. Most of the stores around here don't carry such things. At the local store, I was comparing the projected dollar operating cost of the GE's (about $35 per year) with the units she carried (more toward $40-50) and her only comeback was that over a year's time that wasn't much difference. The point, of course, isn't the cost but the efficiency. The point is to not use the energy in the first place. Ah, well.
Enter the lawn mower question. There is nothing green about any gas powered mower -- even the CARB certified models are still pollution machines. Plus they are very heavy, require fuel and maintenance and all that stuff. I've been doing some research, and found the Neuton Battery Mowers, which larger municipalities are offering at a cut rate to people who trade in their old gas powered machines.
I kind of like it, and for the most part it has good consumer reviews. The complaints are mostly that the battery is only good for an hour at a time and that it cuts a narrower swath than most gas mowers. I can live with both of those. So, I have to cut half my yard one day and the rest the next day -- no big deal. The problem can be solved with an extra battery, which costs another $100. Better yet, kill off the weeds and grasses in the rear portion of the yard that I want to use for other things.
It's quiet and it's lightweight so I can easily lift it onto my front porch for safety (I've been wondering what I would do with a mower to keep it safe, even though nothing has been bothered in any of these yards in the year I've been here). On the negative side, even battery power isn't really green -- it's just lower on the scale than gas models. Batteries eventually need to be replaced and then disposed of, and electricity comes from coal-powered plants. Don't even get me started on the oxymoron 'clean coal technology'. There's nothing clean about the process of getting coal out of the ground, although they may have found ways to burn it cleanly.
I need to make a decision today, because they're having a $100 off sale and frankly, I can't afford to lose $100 unnecessarily. I don't need it yet because lawn mowing is a summer enterprise around here. But, it'll keep. I just can't quite bring myself to do it yet. I don't feel all that secure in my job right now, and if that goes belly-up I'll need all the savings I can hold onto. On the other hand, the grass is going to have to be cut this summer, so if I don't have my own machine I'll have to pay someone else to do it. This thing will pay for itself over the course of one summer, judging by what I spent last year to have my neighbor do it. I have until tomorrow to order at the sales price. What to do, what to do!
A work in progress
4 months ago