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If you’re a landscaping or lawn care business owner, the right equipment is essential to delivering a quality service to your customers, but most are gas-powered and can have a very negative impact on the environment. While powered mowers, trimmers, weed whackers, and blowers are absolutely needed, there are eco-friendly alternatives that have a much lower environmental impact and are just as effective as gas-powered.

Eco-friendly Commercial Lawn Care Equipment

Did you know that gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment and tractors cause 5% of the U.S. greenhouse gases? Fortunately there are a few different alternatives for cutting grass without the emissions. The main alternatives are electric and hand-powered reel mowers. Eco-friendly electric lawn mowers have recently been on the rise and have made amazing strides towards matching the capability of gas-powered mowers.  From the $500 Ego LM2101 push mower to the $4,000 Cub Cadet RZT S Zero zero-turn-radius model, electric models now occupy top slots in almost every category in the Consumer Reports’ lawn mower tests.  Most electric mowers work exactly the same as gas mowers, but can only be used for up to a few hours due to limited battery capacity. Top-scoring electric riding mowers, including the Ryobi R48110 rear-engine rider, $2,500, and Cub Cadet RZT S Zero ZTR, $4,000, are significantly more expensive than similar-performing gasoline models, although there’s a good chance you’ll recoup the higher up-front cost with fuel savings.

The other option for cutting grass is the hand powered reel mower. While this powerless equipment dates back to the 1800’s and may seem a bit outdated, the newer models today are very lightweight, effective and require no power besides your own. Best of Machinery Top 10 Reel Mowers lists some great options.  Or check out Amazon’s reel mower alternatives.

Eco-Friendly Leaf Blowers

Similar to lawn mowers, electric leaf blowers are a great alternative to gas-powered and have the power to move large amounts of leaves without the negative environmental impact. For those who don’t mind the labor, rakes are still the simplest and best alternative. Less popular alternative are push powered leaf collectors which work like a push mower but collect leaves instead. For more information on these alternatives you can check out Popular’s Mechanics’ Three  Alternatives to a Gas-Powered Leaf Blower which includes links to buy the products.

Eco-Friendly Weed Whackers and Trimmers

The best alternatives for gas-powered weed whackers are electric as well, using either a power cord or a battery. There are plenty of battery-powered weed whackers  and battery-powered hedge trimmers on the market today that produce no emissions and get the job done as well as gas-powered. Of course, for those who have the patience and strength, simple hand trimmers might do the trick just fine.

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Chainsaws

There are some obvious candidates for good alternatives to chainsaws. For small trees and shrubs, a bow saw can be efficient and safer than your average chainsaw. For small branches, loppers are an efficient and cheaper alternative. For more information and pricing, check out Consumer Reports article on 3 chain saw alternatives that make the cut.

Sustainability Guide for Landscaping: Getting Started

Learn about the key first-steps your landscaping business can take on its greening journey in the first installment of GBBs new Sustainability Guide for Landscaping.
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