There are a lot of sources of air pollution. Our cars may be most obvious, but don't forget about small engines. Lawn mowers, weed eaters, and chainsaws all add emissions to the air. In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, lawn-mower emissions contribute nearly 33 percent to the total pollution in metropolitan areas. Not to worry though: Battery-powered versions of your favorite lawn and garden tools are becoming available as technology improves battery life. While still relying on electric energy to power the battery, this equipment's overall contribution to air pollution is significantly less than their gas-powered cousins.
Battery-powered yard tools reduce noise pollution as well as air pollution. Imagine if everyone in your neighborhood used practically whisper-quiet battery-operated lawn mowers, weed eaters, and other equipment.
Yet another plus: Cordless, battery-powered hand tools are also easier to use because they're lightweight. Cordless leaf blowers and weed eaters, for example, give you more flexibility in tight spaces or small areas.
If you don't feel like mowing your lawn, check into a robotic mower. These little helpers are battery-powered and self-guided. They follow a buried perimeter wire and return to their dock once they've finished your lawn.
While they're great, robotic mowers are not designed to handle larger lawns. If you have a larger space to cut, look for cordless battery-powered mowers. Cordless lawn mowers are about the same size as a traditional mower, but are lightweight. Afraid you can't get it all done? Most cordless lawn mower batteries last about an hour, giving you plenty of time to cut the turf before you have to recharge.
One downside is that batteries don't last forever. But they have a comparable lifespan to gas-powered engines. All you have to do is recharge the battery each time -- so there are no more trips to the gas station. Most batteries, if used on a regular basis, last four to six years. When they fail, simply buy a replacement battery from the tool's manufacturer. In fact, many manufacturers make one battery for their entire product line. Once you've settled on your favorite brand, you can buy one battery to use with all of your cordless devices. Stop by a dealer's booth at your local home and garden show to try out an array of models and find which one works best for you.
When you're done with them, don't throw those batteries away. Many home-improvement stores have teamed with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a nonprofit public service group, to offer drop-off sites for your used rechargeable batteries. Recycling these batteries is a terrific way to conserve resources and adds eco-value to your battery-powered equipment. Not only are they safe and environmentally friendly, but the waste they produce is also recyclable.