Green tip for week #18 — Week of August 31, 2008

Use a manual mower / reel mower to improve the environment – and add convenience!

As summer winds down and you mow your lawn for the last few times, file this thought away… a manual lawnmower (also called a reel mower) requires no gas!  Not only does it not take your money and our valuable energy resources to fuel a reel mower, but using a reel mower will save the cost of tune-ups, allows you to skip draining the gas and oil at the end of the season, and will save space in your garage!

For some reason, we have all grown to accept gas powered mowers as standard or convenient, despite the fact that they are noisy, they require regular maintenance, and they pollute.  A reel mower not only solves all those problems, but it gives you some exercise, and they are often easier to maneuver.  When people bagged their grass, these types of mowers looked less attractive, but many people now using mulching mowers that leave the clippings, so even that issue is insignificant now.

What are the disadvantages of a reel mower?  Well, they don’t push themselves.  That means you won’t have the mower drag you around anymore, you may actually have to burn calories (which many of us will appreciate).  Next, it can’t cut excessively long grass or weeds, so you need to maintain your grass and cut somewhat regularly (usually weekly).  Other than that, their environmental and other benefits are outstanding, and they are typically quite affordable.

If you are ready to take another one of our green weekly tips as an opportunity to make a difference in your environmental impact and live more sustainably, take the opportunity at the end of the season to look into buying a reel mower.  Maybe you can even find an end of the season value!

We understand there are several good quality reel mowers available, including (but not limited to) options from Scott’s (known by many for fertilizers and lawn products) and Brill.  There are several sites you may wish to check out as resources, including,, and

Remember that taking small steps today can lead to substantial benefits to the environment tomorrow!

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