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How to Reduce Lawn Mower Pollution – Actionable advice

By: Author John Cunningham. Published: 2019/02/10 at 6:04 pm

Using Gas lawnmowers produces harmful emissions and air pollutants. They produce high levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and other volatile organic compounds.
Every year, Americans use 800 million gallons of gas in their gas-powered lawnmowers and spill about 17 million gallons of it, contributing to 5% of the nation’s air pollution.

Black smoke

According to stats from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new gas lawn mower will make more harmful emissions in one hour than 11 new cars driving for the same hour.

Gas Spill

The EPA calculates that 17 million gallons of fuel are spilled a year when people are refueling their lawn equipment. That amount is more than what is spilled by Exxon Valdez, an oil producer in the Gulf of Alaska.
Spilled fuel can cause groundwater contamination. When evaporated into the air, the fuel can react with heat and sunlight, creating harmful ozone.
Different from the ozone in the upper atmosphere, ozone at ground level is a toxic gas produced when toxins mix with heat and sunlight. It can cause effects on the respiratory system and can be harmful to young children, old people, and those with lung diseases.

Electric Mowers Reduce Pollution

Electric lawnmowers use partial or no gas at all to operate. Which drastically decreases the number of harmful emissions and air pollutants that are produced when using a gas-powered motor.
Here are some comparisons of features between using a gas-powered lawnmower and an electric-powered lawnmower.

Mower Power Source

Gas Powered Lawn Mowers: More powerful than electric, these mowers have a gas tank and oil reservoir that power the motor. Some motors are gasoline-specific, and gas can go bad after a couple of months. The combustion of these fuels causes air pollutants.

Electric Lawn Mowers: Can be plugged in or use rechargeable batteries. These mowers don’t produce as many air pollutants. The rechargeable battery needs to be well maintained as high temperatures can destroy them.

Operation & Maintenance

Gas Powered Lawn Mowers: Gas mower engines require a lot of maintenance. Some of these include changing spark plugs, fuel filters, oil, and other components. Gas mowers are also notorious for having a long start-up procedure, which includes prepping, priming, and pulling to start the engine. Older gas mowers are more difficult to start.

Electric Lawn Mower: Electric motors are more simple to operate and maintain than gas-powered ones. To start it up is a simple process. Just insert a charged battery, engage the safety key, and push the start button. The battery may need to be replaced in several years, but other than that, the maintenance is very low.


  • Replacing 500 gas powered lawn mowers with electric motors can reduce these effects on air pollution: 
  • Reduce 212 lbs. of hydrocarbons
  • Reduce 1.7 lbs. of nitrogen oxide
  • Reduce 5.6 lbs. of irritating particles 
  • Reduce 1724 lbs. of carbon dioxide

Gas-powered lawnmowers produce pollutants by releasing emissions and harmful substances into the air. Seventeen million gallons of fuel are spilled each year, refueling lawnmowers, which contributes to 5% of the nation’s air pollution.

You can lower your carbon footprint, reduce lawnmower pollution, and help the environment by using electric-powered lawnmowers for your lawn care. Electric mowers are less powerful but have low maintenance and operating costs.

About Author: Sarah works for “Yourgreenpal” and she loves lawns and gardens.