Saturday, May 3, 2008

Patent Bending

If you want me interested in  something, all you have to do is insert a bicycle into it.  Patent Bending is a show on Discovery/Science Channel that takes old patents that were never produced and puts them to use.

Tonight's episode combined two things I love.  First, bicycles.  Second, reel lawnmowers.  Here are some great facts about gas-powered lawn mowers: 

  • The lawn mower that was tested for the show ran at 111 dB.  A jet engine is about 120 dB.  At 140 dB, hearing damage can occur.  
  • A new lawnmower puts out about 40 times the smog as  new car.
  • According to the EPA, lawnmowers account for about 5% of the pollution in the U.S.
  • Abut 17 million gallons of gasoline are spilled each year while refueling lawnmowers.(The Exxon Valdez spilled a tad under 11 million gallons of oil.)
  • 80,000 people a year are sent to the hospital because of lawn mowing accidents.
Personally, I own and use the Scotts Classic mower.  I think it is great.  I love being able to mow the yard and talk to my wife.  I can mow around the swingset while the kids are on the swings. I can listen to my iPod without turning it up to an intolerable volume.  And best of all, I am still using the two gallons of gas I bought in 2006.  

For those thinking about a reel mower, do it.  I was worried about pushing it thought the grass.  Because it is lighter than a gas-powered lawnmower, it takes about the same amount of effort to push.  You should not bag those clippings, so don't worry about the bagger.  

If you are serious about reducing the amount of gas you use, a reel mower is a great option.  While you may think "every little bit counts," small engines are gas hogs.  Getting rid of your gas powered lawnmower is not a "little bit."

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Smudgemo said...

I got an electric mower, but then decided to let the grass die instead. As we typically have no rain from April through November, it seems pretty foolish to water grass.

I had wondered if the neighbors care, but then I realized I don't care what they think, so...

Rick Logue said...

Forget your neighbors. Imagine what the 1 billion people around the world without access to clean drinking water think about dumping gallons of water into the ground.