Monday, July 21, 2008

Reel Mowers - The Reel Deal

So, in my quest of figuring out ways I, myself, can reduce my carbon footprint and become a more sustainable and responsible consumer, I moved on to the lawn. This past month, I have been learning a lot of ways that we as consumers could become more sustainable and save money in the long run. One thing I learned is that reel mowers are coming back on the scene. Electric lawn mowers are also popping up as well. They're great, but when I started my scavenger hunt through my father's garage, I found a reel mower!

I talked to my dad about the situation. He is, for one, "green" in his own ways; he has an organic garden, makes his own wine, his own tools (sometimes), and recycles tin and scrap metal. One fault is that he tends to throw water bottles in the garbage. I have to work on that one. When it comes to the lawn mower, I suggested him trying the reel mower. His defense was is took too much time, will not cut as well as a gas mower, and he doesn't want the grass clippings on the lawn.

Ok, all viable arguments. But, I said, "What if I did the mowing myself using the reel mower?" He, of course, said sure! So, the key was to do it later in the day when the lawn was shaded. I didn't time myself (But, I will next time...) and it seemed like it took a bit longer than a gas mower, due to the fact that the grass was a bit high. (Hint: cut the grass when it is short)

After it was all set and done, my dad saw the lawn and just nodded and said, "that's ok." Aside from the trimming along the edges, the lawn was cut and it looked clean. The grass clippings were not very visible, and did not look messy. The incentive is that the grass clippings left onto the lawn is actually a great natural fertilizer for the grass. It will, of course, biodegrade, and will help the grass to grow. If there are a lot of weeds, I would suggest not to keep the clippings on the lawn.

So, I will do the "eco showdown." I will compare the gas mower and reel mower on looks and time and show the results at a later time. This should be a good father-son bonding moment...

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