THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency has announced that it is finally going to impose restrictions on the amount of pollution that can be spewed by lawnmowers, weed whackers, and other gas-powered engines in lawn and garden equipment. Effective in 2011, these machines will be required to cut smog-forming emissions by 35 percent.
The EPA has estimated that small gas-powered lawn and garden machinery emits anywhere from 9 to 33 percent of some air pollutants, depending on where you live. The person operating the equipment gets an even higher dose. Anything that removes some of this pollution has to be counted as good.
But why wait until 2011 to enjoy these benefits? Instead of a lawn mower, why not use a scythe? It's good exercise and nonpolluting as well. Much easier to store, too.
The scythe shown at left is a traditional Austrian scythe from Lee Valley. I was assured by an expert on scythes that it is an excellent choice for a beginner who is just interested in cutting grass. (There are other styles of scythes that might be more useful for other situations.) To learn more about this scythe, see this page at the Lee Valley website. (If you have any trouble finding it, look under Gardening/Lawn Care/Assorted).