Mow Greener

Cindy Zimmerman

Lawnmower The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new regulations to cut harmful emissions from lawnmowers and other small engines. The new proposal would set strict standards for most lawn and garden equipment but would not go into effect until at least 2011.

In the meantime, lawn jockeys can do their part to help cut emissions by using 10 percent ethanol in their gas-powered lawn mowers, trimmers, edgers and blowers, according to the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC).

Small engines can efficiently burn E10, a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol. The use of E10 reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 30 percent.

EPIC also offers other tips for conserving fuel and helping the environment during lawn care, such as keeping equipment well-maintained. Tuning up a typical walk-behind lawn mower at the beginning of the season can eliminate the same amount of exhaust emissions produced by driving a car 26 miles, according to Briggs & Stratton research engineers. It will also conserve gasoline. They also suggest leaving grass clippings on the ground instead of picking them up. Grass cycling makes the mowing process much faster and the grass blades redistribute nitrogen to the lawn and soil.

EPIC, Ethanol, News