IN THE GARDEN

A nice collection of all electric garden tools can go a surprisingly long way towards fighting climate chage. Garden tools like lawnmowers, leaf blowers, chain saws and snow-blowers burn more fossil fuels than most homeowners realize, spewing out anywhere from 20 to 300 times as much pollution as a typical car.

That’s because garden tools have somehow escaped the strict regulations that have forced the auto industry to clean up its act over the past few decades.

In fact, according to the California Air Resources Board, running a commercial gas-powered leaf blower for just one hour produces about as much pollution as driving a 2017 Toyota Camry for 1,100 miles. And that’s before you consider the sheer quantity of the things. According to The Freedonia Group, there are 650 million gas-powered outdoor tools currently in use, each one contributing an outsized share to climate change.

The good news is that, unlike cars, stoves and home heating systems, the gas-powered tools the typical American homeowner uses in the garden are relatively inexpensive to replace. That makes the garden perhaps the easiest place have an immediate impact on climate change.

If you’ve got to start your home electrification project somewhere, then the garden may be the best place.

The first tools to be powered with batteries were the ones that use the least power. Think trimmers, weed whackers and leaf blowers. It wasn’t until about 2014 that battery technology and electric motor efficiency had evolved to such an extent that power-hungry tools like lawnmowers could go electric

By 2017, Consumer Reports was rating certain battery-powered push mowers as highly as their gas-powered counterparts. Nowadays, there is little to choose between the two, except for that whole saving the planet thing.

Priced about the same (when maintenance and fuel costs are taken into account) and just as capable, there really aren’t too many reasons not to make your next garden tool purchase a fully electric one.

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