Gas Consumption and Emissions
Each year, according the the US government, lawn and garden engines consume close to 2 billion gallons of gasoline. An analysis of the US EPA’s national emissions inventory database shows that in 2011 gas-powered lawn and garden engines generated approximately 13 billion pounds of toxic and carcinogenic air pollutants and 41 billion pounds of carbon dioxide. Lawn mowers emit 11 times the pollution of cars. The 2-stroke engines of leaf blowers, string trimmers, and edgers are far worse. These engines burn an oil-gas mixture and emit ozone-forming chemicals and fine particulate matter.
- Which emits more? A handheld leafblower or a Ford Raptor truck? Watch and find out.
Toxic and Solid Waste
In addition to air pollution, an untold amount of organic and non-organic toxic chemicals and solid waste related to maintaining gas-powered equipment end up in our landfills, soil, and water. Examples include detergents, degreasers, lubricants, spark plugs, hoses, filters, and non-recycleable containers.
Approximately 17 million gallons of gas are spilled each year in the US from workers refueling gas powered equipment, over 50% more than the amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez (Source: Steinberg T. American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn, 2006). Where does this spillage go? Into our soil and water supplies.