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Environmentally Friendly Lawn Mowing?

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In light of the high air and noise pollution levels of consumer and commercial lawn mowers (both push and riding varieties), I'm wondering how open you think Grand Rapids would be to paying for someone to mow their lawn with - don't laugh - a manual reel lawn mower for $20-30? Keep your lawn mowed without doing it yourself in 90 degree weather, emit no greenhouse gases, don't have to worry about "O-Zone Action Days", don't support "foreign oil", etc. But at the same time, you probably wouldn't get those incredibly cool-looking golf course stripes in your lawn and you'd have a guy walking around your yard for more than the 15 minutes in which a commercial service could do it... What do you think? Silly, idealistic, or sustainable? I'm quite interested to hear what you think as my family members already think I'm crazy anyway and my friends just smile and nod. :-P

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I'd only be paying for labor... which wouldn't be much. Oh and if you keep the blades sharp each time you use it, it should cut quite nice for not being motorized.

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They still exist? =o

I've only ever seen rusted out ones.

I would imagine a few curious people might give it a try, but to keep them as customers you would probably also have to have something other services cannot provide.. (no pollution or noise might not be enough) in your case it may have to be cost. If you can stay cheaper than everyone else, then it could work out.

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They still exist? =o

I've only ever seen rusted out ones.

I would imagine a few curious people might give it a try, but to keep them as customers you would probably also have to have something other services cannot provide.. (no pollution or noise might not be enough) in your case it may have to be cost. If you can stay cheaper than everyone else, then it could work out.

You could combine it with natural or organic pesticide/fertilizer service. We've had a company that specializes in that calling on us to do our lawn. They don't do the manual cutting though. I've definitely seen new ones. They're pretty sharp. :lol:

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They're actually better for your grass too. Something about the way it cuts is healthier.

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I see the kid who lives two houses down from me mowing their lawn with a manual reel mower all the time...I assumed his parents were punishing him.

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You could combine it with natural or organic pesticide/fertilizer service. We've had a company that specializes in that calling on us to do our lawn. They don't do the manual cutting though. I've definitely seen new ones. They're pretty sharp. :lol:

Thanks, all, for your input thus far. To what extent would you say you folks are "environmentally minded"? In other words, is there intinsic value in not producing emissions in your lawn mowing? (Or, to put it another way, if you heard that the average consumer lawn mower produces the same amount of smog-causing emissions in one hour of operation as the average new car traveling 340 miles, would you be more inclined to use a "zero emissions lawn service," even if it cost approximately the same amount as standard engine-driven lawn services?)

Makes for a very interesting case study of social values and economics if nothing else, eh?

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I use a reel mower on my lawn. There are a few reasons: it's cheaper, it gives me more exercise, it takes a lot less maintenance, and it pollutes less. I'm not an evironmentalist, so the pollution argument is just a nice side-effect of me saving money and getting exercise. In my experience to get an even, clean cut you have to make a couple passes, so it probably takes about twice as long to mow as a conventional mower. My property is not even a quarter acre, so it suits me just fine.

-nb

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Thanks, all, for your input thus far. To what extent would you say you folks are "environmentally minded"? In other words, is there intinsic value in not producing emissions in your lawn mowing? (Or, to put it another way, if you heard that the average consumer lawn mower produces the same amount of smog-causing emissions in one hour of operation as the average new car traveling 340 miles, would you be more inclined to use a "zero emissions lawn service," even if it cost approximately the same amount as standard engine-driven lawn services?)

Makes for a very interesting case study of social values and economics if nothing else, eh?

The only issue with taking a temperature here is that probably not many of us hire out lawn service. The people who can afford and currently use a lawn service may not be as environmentally conscious. Just raising an objection that I'm sure you've figured out how to overcome. :D

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As GRDad said, I mow my own lawn, which is very small (50' x 130' with a house, garage and driveway in it!) and I would never pay anyone more than $10 to mow it no matter what they used.

Now, if you're talking a large lot and I was concerned about environmental issues, I'd say $20-$30 would be reasonable. Plus you can up-sell me extra services such as environmentally friendly pest and weed controls.

Your marketing would have to be highly targeted. Perhaps start with WMEAC. They must have a database or newsletter in which you could advertise. Within that you may be able to target certain zip-codes, etc.

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I have been told that some of those manual lawn mowers do a much better job than the gas powered ones. Another option would be one of the solar powered robot mowers. They come as a regular battery powered electric mower but have a solar power attachment.

Apparently they work like the robot vacuums with sensors so you don

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Your best bet for an automatic excellent lawn mower that is environmentally correct is to put some goats on the property. Maybe not the best bet for a small yard but great for large commercial lawns. Farmers will gladly bring their goats to graze an area.

I do have a small rental property and I find that an simple electric mower it fine for that. (corded) I got one at a Black and Decker outlet for $75. Good reel mowers can be bought but they are on the pricey side for one that actually works well.

http://www.cleanairgardening.com/reelmowers.html

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You can still buy those old-timey reel things, I've seen them at hardware stores. I've never used one though. I've always wanted to try one out to see if its better or faster than a push mower, but people said "You want to mow you're lawn with one of those?? What are you, stupid??" I have to cut the grass every four days as is.

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You could combine it with natural or organic pesticide/fertilizer service. We've had a company that specializes in that calling on us to do our lawn. They don't do the manual cutting though. I've definitely seen new ones. They're pretty sharp. :lol:

haha I've got a natural fertilizer service

Its called Golden Lab & Border Collie Lawn Service Inc :P Best thing about it is they work for Kibbles & bits!

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I had discussed a similar scheme with some friends a few years back. We talked about it as a way to create summer jobs for inner-city youth. Then the conversation snowballed into a winter shoveling brigade as well. I think that there is some potential with some very specific marketing. Two or three people on my street that would go for it. The huge benefit as a business plan is it requires very low overhead.

Additionally, I am also the owner and user of just such a manual powered mower. My tactic is however to remove a little more grass each year not hire a lawn service.

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Where did you guys buy your reel mowers? All the new ones I've seen are over $125. For a technology that's that old and hasn't changed in years why the high price tag?

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Those manual mowers are a lot better for your lawn, because they are scissor action, the golf courses use motorized versions of them. If you don't want a manual, I think they sell motorized versions but they are very high end, but if your really into a nice lawn I guess it would be worth it.

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Where did you guys buy your reel mowers? All the new ones I've seen are over $125. For a technology that's that old and hasn't changed in years why the high price tag?

Seems like last time I looked they had them at Hope Depot or a similar mega-store. But that was a couple years ago.

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Where did you guys buy your reel mowers? All the new ones I've seen are over $125. For a technology that's that old and hasn't changed in years why the high price tag?

$125 doesn't seem bad at all, considering that any gas powered mower (that won't break down after one season) is going to cost you $250+. The bad part is you have to manually sharpen the blades, and there's a lot of them. I used to have to mow my Grandmother's lawn with one growing up because her condo association wouldn't allow gas ones (either manual or electric). Luckily her lawn was about the size a postage stamp.

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I guess I fall somewhere between gas and reel with a cordless electric mower.

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I bought my reel mower at Home depot, seems it was less than 100 bucks.

I have a small lawn, and its quick, quiet, fun, and doesnt require gas, oil, or sparkplugs.

Perfect for mowing 900 s.f. , I'd be willing to keep cutting with a reel mower for a fairly large lawn, but as somepoint I'd have to bite the bullet and get the gas mower, which of course comes with the gas can, and the oil, and the inevitable breakdowns, tune-ups and other hassles that come with owning a machine with an engine.

EDIT: I wont directly link it here, but do a quick search for Reel Mower at homedepot.com

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