Green thumbs not always green
New research finds that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices despite their strong desire to reduce their carbon footprint.
A new survey conducted on behalf of BC Hydro found that even with the increasing popularity of electric lawnmowers, trimmers, leaf blowers and pressure washers, nearly 60% of British Columbians who use this equipment are still using some gas-powered equipment, which are heavy emitters of greenhouse gases and pollutants.
With the arrival of spring, British Columbians are kicking their yard work and landscaping into high gear, and about two-thirds planned to use electric or gas-powered equipment to help them get the job done. About 50% of households have a lawnmower – and nearly 80% of those use a gas lawnmower.
Gas lawnmowers are inefficient. On average, one hour of using a gas lawnmower is the equivalent to driving a pickup truck up to 550 kilometres. Spread that out across the province over an entire season, it is about the same amount 360,000 cars would use over an entire year.
Electric lawnmowers – and other electrically powered yard equipment – have come a long way. Gone are the days when using an electric mower means navigating a long cord around the property. Battery power capacity and capability have also increased significantly. Yet, even with the advances in technology, more than 30% of British Columbians indicated that they would still opt for the gas-powered tools.
BC Hydro is encouraging customers to consider switching to electric models because they are:
Better for the environment: Electric tools drastically reduce emissions, particularly in B.C. where BC Hydro’s electricity is generated from 96% clean and renewable resources.
Save money: Filling a lawnmower with gas will cost about three to four times more than using electricity.
Low maintenance: There is no need to store gasoline, perform oil changes, and change spark plugs or filters.
Comparable in price: Electric and gas models cost about the same.
Light weight: Electric models are easier to handle on the lawn or in the yard.
Quieter: Electric motors make far less noise than gas-powered motors.
e-KNOW file photo