We endure the typical rainstorms of May in Waco and await the imminent explosion of vegetation in our courtyards. Managing this growth requires powerful lawn equipment, including mowers, trimmers, and grass blowers. Although these devices are traditionally powered by fossil fuels, we have to convert these tools to electrical power due to the worsening climate crisis. This transition is detailed here and is relevant to individuals, businesses, governments, schools, and lawn care teams.

Greenhouse gas emissions. Recent research by the Environmental Protection Agency found that gasoline-powered lawn and garden tools in the United States produce 20.4 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. A life cycle analysis in 2021 found that using an electric mower instead of a gas mower reduced carbon dioxide emissions by about 49.9%. Because electric garden tools are similar in price to gasoline, electric driving is an inexpensive way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Air pollution. Although carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming, gas-powered garden tools emit 6.3 million tons of other hazardous substances annually, including volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, small particles and nitrogen oxides. This is an incredible 5% of US air pollution. In the presence of sunlight, these substances cause or contribute to cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart failure, anxiety, asthma, neurological disorders, abnormal prenatal development, autism, and premature death. People in lawn care teams, schools, and parks are at increased risk of exposure. In total, fossil fuel burning from all sources causes approximately 350,000 premature deaths annually in the United States.