Go Green: Time to Speak with Your Landscaper (Part 1)

By Tom Last

In Rockaway, we love our gardens, and we love our landscapers! These laborers work diligently to keep our landscapes picturesque, as they plant flowers, trim the hedges, and mow the lawn. They are as much a part of the Rockaway backdrop as the beach. However, landscaping may involve practices that are harmful to the environment, in addition to being a health risk for humans. But there are viable solutions.

Firstly, let’s discuss the landscaping equipment being used, such as lawn mowers, trimmers, and blowers. Basically, all landscapers in the Rockaways use carbon emitting machinery. Exhaust emissions from gasoline-powered engines can lead to health problems such as respiratory disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological conditions, and premature death. Additionally, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency, a single gas-powered lawn mower emits as much pollution in one hour as driving a car for 45 miles. Gas powered lawn equipment is responsible for 4 to 5 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. That is probably the reason why the State of California and many towns in New York State have put a ban on the use of all gas-powered lawn equipment. Also, the Honda Company will no longer sell gas powered lawn mowers as of 2024.

Of course, the noise of these ubiquitous machines is a constant in our lives. Many days we cannot hear the birds or the sound of the ocean due to the constant hum of the lawn mower. Fortunately, there are quite a few alternative green equipment solutions for lawn mowers, trimmers, and blowers. Several companies now offer cost-effective ‘battery-powered’ landscaping equipment at a reasonable price. No more gas required or electrical cords, and quiet when in use. So why not ask your landscaper to migrate to battery-powered landscape equipment that will pay for itself in just a short time and protect them and the environment from the harmful effects caused by carbon emitting equipment.

Also, ask your landscaper to mow less frequently to allow the grass to grow stronger roots and not tap its food reserves by cutting it too short. Mowing high and less also prevents sunlight from reaching crabgrass and weeds. Better yet, replace some of your grass lawn with drought-resistant and native plants that will reduce the amount of water needed to keep your landscape looking full and colorful. It will also attract pollinators, help the birds, and prevent pests overall.

Let’s get started talking and working with our landscapers to ensure they and us practice safe and environmentally friendly landscaping. Remember, it takes all of us working together to fight climate change. Remember – there is no planet B.

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