Yes, it’s that time again. If you look out your window you can’t miss the falling leaves. Soon it will be time to get out your leaf blower, and even your rake. Some people attach leaf bags and roll out their electric mowers. All are effective and fairly quiet.
But what about the professional landscapers? For the most part they use gas powered equipment, which, like most cars, pollute the air and emit carbon into the atmosphere. And, unfortunately, make a lot of noise. However, there are some exceptions.
About 21% of outdoor powered equipment (OPE) used by landscapers were battery-powered in 2021, according to the Farnsworth Group, an engineering, architecture, and surveying firm. The Group recently conducted a study among landscapers on the use of gas-powered outdoor power equipment (OPE) versus battery-powered outdoor equipment. A similar study was conducted two years ago, and in that time, there have been noticeable changes in battery-powered OPE use among landscapers.
Noise emanating from gas powered mowers is an added detriment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that “noise pollution adversely affects the lives of millions of people. Studies have shown that there are direct links between noise and health. Problems related to noise include stress related illnesses, high blood pressure, speech interference, hearing loss, sleep disruption, and lost productivity.”
More importantly, the larger the firm, the more likely they were to purchase battery powered OPE in the last year. 32% of OPE purchases in the past 12 months were battery powered among firms doing more than $750,000 in revenue. The financial benefits of a switch from gas-powered to electric is clear as gas prices continue to rise, while the price of electric OPEs lower from the technology becoming more cost efficient.
However, concerns still remain regarding how to charge equipment while in the field, the rate at which the equipment will charge, and how long that charge will last. Of those landscapers surveyed, 33% do not have any battery-powered OPE, because of these concerns.
The landscapers operating in California better hurry. The Golden State is outlawing all gas-powered lawn equipment beginning in 2024. To help operators adjust, the state has set aside $30 million. California is the first state to outlaw gas-powered equipment, but Burlington, Vt. and Washington, D.C. also have placed restrictions on equipment, USA Today reports. Environmentalists say using a commercial gas leaf blower for an hour produces emissions equal to driving from Denver to Los Angeles.
Hope is Around the Corner
Cutting grass and landscaping don’t seem on the surface to have long-term implications, but the last few years have made many Americans more sensitive to the impact of climate change. As their use spreads, electricity powered lawn equipment and electrically driven cars could be major contributors in the battle against climate change.