Wind and solar power are subsidized by just about every major country in the world, either directly or indirectly through tax breaks, mandates, and regulations.
The main rationale for these subsidies is that wind and solar produce, to use the economic term of art, “positive externalities” — benefits to society that are not captured in their market price. Specifically, wind and solar power reduce pollution, which reduces sickness, missed work days, and early deaths. Every wind farm or solar field displaces some other form of power generation (usually coal or natural gas) that would have polluted more.
To join me in helping the environment by using solar powered lawn care, check out Earth Friendly Landscaping.
Years ago I pulled into the local gas station and saw a pickup pulling a big solar-powered trailer behind it. As a eco-geek I was interested. I have been following the solar industry for years and despite not being able to justify a solar roof for my home I have had a keen interest in solar energy. I had to learn more.
Turns out the company, Earth Friendly Landscaping, has a custom-built professional-grade lawn care equipment that is 100% electric. They charge it up between stops using the solar array on the trailer that hauls the equipment. Genius. Even better was the cost was exactly the same as the company I had been using.
The added bonus, however, was the impact on the environment. I knew gas mowers were not efficient but what I did not know at the time was how much pollution they spew into the air. Even the newest gas-powered mowers are horrible and cannot compete with a pollution-free solar solution. Law equipment is mostly unregulated and their pollution controls are virtually non-existent. Until 1995 lawn equipment was unregulated. Until 2012 they has some EPA regulations which helped but not enough. Since 2012 the rules are stricter but it is still does not come close to the pollution restrictions for cars. Lawn equipment is spewing tons of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds into the air every year.
Here are some facts-and-figures about gas powered equipment. Earth Friendly Landscaping reduces the pollution to ZERO which has me wondering why you are still pushing a gas mower or hiring a “gas-powered” company.
Gas Lawn Equipment Facts & Figures
EPA estimates lawn care is responsible for 5% of air pollution in America.
54 Million Americans mow their lawns using 800 Millions gallons of gas.
A single gas mower emits as much pollution as 8 cars driving on the highway.
Americans spill over 17 million gallons of gas refueling lawn equipment.
Gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment (GLGE) ranging from string trimmers to stump grinders and tractors is a source of high levels of localized emissions that includes hazardous air pollutants, criteria pollutants, and carbon dioxide (CO2).
ref: 2015 EPA Study
Those gas-powered leaf blowers, hedge trimmers and mowers you hear in your neighborhood aren’t just annoying — they make a lot of pollution, too.
In California, they’re about to pass cars as the worst air polluters, spewing out formaldehyde, benzene and particulate matter. According to Michael Benjamin at the California Air Resources Board, in just three years’ time, the biggest single ozone polluter in the state is going to be all this gardening equipment.