Environmentally impactful laws are in the works in a few U.S. states. We, as a society, already emit a lot of CO2 from manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, electricity usage, and more. But believe it or not, small engines (as in, the one in your lawn mower) emit as much CO2 as cars and homes. According to the EPA, off-road gasoline-powered equipment, such as lawn mowers and leaf blowers, emit approximately 242 million tons of pollutants annually
Because of this, some states are working on passing small engine ban laws to move towards a zero emission lifestyle. California already made moves to ban small gas-powered engines by 2024.
Here’s everything you need to know about small engine bans and how they might affect you.
First: A BAckground on the Bans
When you think about emissions, the first culprit you’d probably think of are vehicles. And you’d be right, as transportation is one of the biggest overall contributors to emissions.
However, vehicles and tools that use small engines actually emit significantly more carbon into the air. We tend to overlook the effect of gas-powered lawn tools on the environment. A story written by Mia Ambroiggio reveals that gas-powered lawn tools emit 242 tons of pollutants yearly.
Some senators have taken notice of the harm that these tools cause on the environment. As a result, there are now laws in the making that ban the selling of small gas-powered engines.
Eventually, the use of small engine tools will also stop. For now, there is no nationwide law in the works, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one in the future.
Where Are Small Engine Bans Happening?
At the moment, California is officially the first state to begin phasing out small gas-powered engine tools. Democratic assembly members Marc Berman and Lorena Gonzalez introduced this bill as the first step to phasing out gas-fueled anything in the state. The goal is to completely phase out small gas engine tools by 2024.
Some other states and cities have considered doing something similar. Some have even already made their start in phasing out gas-powered lawn care. .
For example, New York and Illinois are working through similar measures. In Brookline, MA; Montclair, NJ; and Burlington, VT; there are already seasonal bans on some gas-powered lawn tools.
Why Are Small Gas-Powered Engine Bans Happening?
According to CarScoops, there are a little over 16 million small engines versus 13 million passenger vehicles in California alone. Using one gas-powered lawn tool for an hour is like driving an economy-class car for 1,000 miles.
To allow for a greener future, the California senate has passed bills that ban small engines to further accelerate a green lifestyle. Over the next several years, these laws will result in a lower carbon footprint in people’s lifestyles.
Read: how to reduce your carbon footprint at home
What equipment is affected by the Bans?
This law puts an end to the use of gas-powered vehicles and equipment. Most tools that are affected are common tools used to make lawns look great. Examples include:
- Push mowers
- Zero turn mowers
- Leaf blowers
- Power saws
- Edge trimmers
- Golf carts
There is no comprehensive list of tools that will be banned yet; other not mentioned gas-powered tools will be affected by the ban as well. But based on the list above, lawn care professionals and homeowners will be impacted the most.
Many of these tools cost several hundreds or a few thousands of dollars. Finding an alternative may be significantly more expensive to purchase.
What to do if you live in a ban area
This ban poses a problem for businesses and individuals that use this equipment. Converting to zero emission tools will certainly take time.
However, it’s very possible. If you live or do business in California or one of the cities mentioned earlier, your first step is to research battery-powered versions of the tools you use. They provide roughly the same performance as the gas-powered models.
The transition to battery-powered tools may seem difficult at first. It’ll take time for these products to be common in home goods stores near you. But more and more, electric lawn care tools, mowers, and more are becoming more accessible and affordable. You can start by checking out the Autmow store.
Read: should you buy a robotic mower from Amazon?
It’ll benefit you to get opinions from people you know who’ve already made the eco-friendly switch. Or simply reach out to the experts here at Autmow to find out what electric robotic lawn care tools might be right for you. That way, you will know ahead of time which items are and aren’t worth the purchase. Remember though: no two lawns are the same.
How robotic lawn mowers and other electric lawn equipment can help
Eco-friendliness is one of the top selling points of electric power equipment. But the benefits don’t stop there.
Read: 7 amazing benefits of robotic lawn mowers
In the long run, the savings will outweigh the upfront costs. Powering your lawn equipment is cheaper with electricity than with gas.
Homeowners will probably see an increase of $25 in their electric bill per year, not per month. Lawn care professionals may need to carry around a portable recharging source. But with the help of fleet management, you can see the status of all of your equipment. That means you can check their battery life, get alerts for malfunctions, and see their location on the map.
Another hidden benefit of electric lawn care equipment is how quiet it is. Noise pollution is a real problem that affects the health of entire neighborhoods and populations. Autonomous lawn care is so quiet that you can run your robotic mower at night and no one will ever know.
Feel Confident With the Change
We understand that making the switch to eco-friendly lawn care tools might feel like a hassle at first.
But after investing in electric equipment, you’ll experience cleaner air, a smoother work experience, and reduce your overall carbon footprint with zero emissions.