We all want to leave a better world for our kids. We’d like to think we’re doing as much as we can to reduce our ecological footprint. But what difference does our lawn mower make?
Internal combustion engines emit two main types of pollution: carbon dioxide (CO2) and criteria air contaminants (CAC). The amount of CO2 released depends on the amount of fuel you burn. A big truck emits more than a car, which emits more than a lawn mower. There’s no way around that.
CAC emissions are more complicated. This type of pollution includes carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, unburned fuel molecules, and other chemicals. CAC emissions contribute to smog, increase asthma problems, and generally worsen local air quality.
Every vehicle manufactured in the last half century has been equipped with a catalytic converter to reduce its emissions. Emissions controls have become stricter over time to reduce urban smog.
But many small engines are exempt from emission control regulations, including lawn mowers. Without these controls, your tiny 160 cc lawnmower engine emits a hundred times more local air pollution than a pickup truck!
Replacing your gas mower with an efficient automated electric mower has a greater impact on local air quality than permanently parking your pickup truck.