The Green Gardener: Eco-friendly Lawn Gear

by Rob on April 1, 2009

electric garden tools buying guide

With spring finally at hand, it’s a good time to review those electric garden tools and lawn equipment that are eco-friendly. And the great thing about electric power tools is that they are far more convenient than gas-powered equipment. They are lighter, quieter, and far more maintenance-free. So with that, here is our Buying Guide for the green gardeners out there.

Green Lawn Mowers

The most important decision you’ll make is which mower to use on your lawn. A typical gas-powered lawn mower can belch enough CO2 into the atmosphere while cutting a standard lawn to equal driving 100 miles in a car. Fortunately, there are several alternatives that have a much small impact on the environment. Here they are:

Push Reel Lawn Mowers: You can’t get more energy independent than with a push reel lawn mower. You not only cut your grass, but you get some good exercise at the same time. Having used a push reel as a kid (many, many years ago), my memory of this type of lawn mower is not a favorable one. As I recall, I needed about 10 of my closest friends to help me push this beast over 4 inches of grass. Today, push reel mowers have come a long way. The highest rated push reel according to Amazon is the Scotts 2000-20:

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Electric Lawn Mowers: The electric mower not only eliminates the need for gas, oil or tune-ups, but they are easy to start, quiet and light. The top model here is the Black & Decker CMM1200, which is an energy star rated mower and top pick by Consumer Reports. The CMM1200 can cut up to 1/3 an acre on a single charge, and you don’t have to have that annoying extension cord connecting the mower to an outlet during use.

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Visit our EcoStore to review and compare more than 300 electric lawn mowers.

Electric Trimmers & Edgers

Having used both electric and gas powered trimmers for my home, the electric corded trimmer or one with a rechargeable battery is the hands-down winner. The frustration of trying to start a gas-powered trimmer alone drove me to switch. Add the convenience and eco-friendly benefits, and it’s a mystery why any homeowner would buy a gas-powered weed eater. Here are two good options, the first requiring an extension cord (but guaranteed not to run out of juice) and one with a rechargeable battery.

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Electric Leaf Blowers

As with the trimmer, I’ve used both gas-powered and electric leaf blowers. Unless you have a really big yard, the electric leaf blower gets the job done with ease. Having had to care for a gas-powered Stihl blower, I know first-hand what it’s like trying to start the thing after it’s sat for a year. Electric leaf blowers avoid all of that frustration.

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Electric Tillers

If you have a vegetable garden (and in this recession, more and more do) or a flower garden, an electric tiller can turn the earth for you in a snap. Electric tillers are smaller and lighter than their gas-powered counterparts, which make them ideal for those with backyard gardens.

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Electric Chainsaws

We used an electric chainsaw for the first time about a year ago. I’ll confess that until then, I didn’t even know they made electric chainsaws! The truth is, it worked like a charm. Professionals may need gas power, but most homeowners will do just fine with an electric chainsaw.

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Electric Hedge Trimmers

If you have a lot of hedges to trim, a powered trimmer really cuts down on the job (no pun intended). This is about the only tool listed here we don’t need for your yard, but for those that do, this is a real time-saver.

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Electric Chipper/Shredders

Yep, the beast of all yard equipment can be powered by electricity. Particularly if you live on a wooded lot, a chipper/shredder can be put to full use. An electric chipper is much easier to move around and store, and gets the job done really well. The McCulloch listed below has received really good user reviews, which you can read on the product page by clicking below.

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