Lawn Mower Emissions-How Do Mowers Affect The Environment?

Last Updated on May 6, 2024 by Sharaj

You will find different types of lawn mowers in the market. They include automatic models such as electric and petrol lawn mowers.

What you need to consider are lawn mower emissions that can be harmful to the environment. This article will highlight the dangers of automatic mowers to your surroundings.

Petrol Lawn Mowers Air Pollution

The main downside with older 2-stroke engines is their inefficiency when it comes to fuel combustion. Indeed, a 30% incomplete combustion can be hazardous to the environment. Your petrol lawn mower produces harmful stuffs such as nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons.

That translates to dangers such as smog formation. Besides ethane, ethene, ethanol, and methane, here are some lawn mower emissions

Nitrogen Oxides: Nitrogen oxide pollutants lead to acid rain. These emissions come when you subject oxygen and nitrogen to high-pressure and high-temperature environments in the mowers combustion engine.

These pollutants may damage your lungs after reacting with hydrocarbons. You probably know how acid rain can ruin buildings, infrastructure, vegetation (and your lawn), wildlife.

Particulates: These are microscopic particles exhausted by diesel-powered vehicles. That causes smokiness when operating your lawn mower. The smell can lead to respiratory issues such as breathing difficulties in seniors, infants, and individuals with existing health problems.

Carbon Monoxide: This is a poisonous, odorless, and colorless gas that your gasoline lawn mower produces due to incomplete combustions.

Carbon Dioxide: It is a harmful gas that results from burning carbon-based fuels such as gasoline when working on your lawn. Although carbon dioxide might not have direct health problems, it leads to the greenhouse effect that causes health issues.

Air Quality

Using two-stroke engines when shaping your lawn can affect the air quality of that particular environment. It is a fact that cities with high usage of two-stroke engine auto rick-shows have heavy soot and dangerous air pollution.

For instance, in Delhi, India, they had to replace those engine types with four-stroke machines to alleviate the problem of high smog levels.

What are you doing as a contribution to curb the problem of air pollution with small petrol engines? Most cities across the world are joining hands to seek alternative means for petrol equipment.

Unfortunately, some regions are suffering more as residents stick to using gasoline lawn mowers. Bad air quality leads to increased cases of respiratory diseases and reduced physical activity.

A study by Edmunds car experts in 2011 indicates that Ford F-150 Raptor emits fewer pollutants compared to consumer leaf blowers. Their test concluded that a 2-stroker leaf blower emits more hydrocarbons than a pickup truck by almost 299 times. Although a four-stroke engine mower showed better results, it was still worse compared to the emissions by the vehicle.

In the UK, gas mowers need to meet given emission conditions. If you can get your equipment from a company that adheres to such rules, you will enjoy lower operational costs and less pollution.

Talking from a personal point of view, I can recommend you try Honda engines in that case. This company works all possible means to exceed the set standards for engine pollutants. Honda gas-powered mowers have lower air pollution rates.

Fuel Spills

When thinking about the best solution between electric and gas-powered lawn mowers, consider the task of fuel tank refilling.

You will have to deal with fuel spills when refilling garden equipment such as petrol leaf blowers and lawn mowers. Keep in mind that fuel leaks get into your garden beds, lawn, nearby ponds, and other areas. That will affect the environment and your profits in one way or another.

Different Studies on Environmental Impact of Lawn Mowers

Different studies highlight the dangers that operating lawn mowers have to the environment. A 2001 Swedish study indicates that working with a typical 4-stroker lawn mower for one hour emits PAHs equivalent to driving a vehicle for 93 miles (150 km). You cannot ignore the effect that has on the environment.

True enough, most individuals overlook the effect of cars on the environment forgetting that using lawn mowers is equally dangerous. Outdoor Power Equipment Institute shows that people averagely use lawn mowers for about 25 hours per year. This is similar to driving your car for 3,750 km.

With that in mind, there have been improvements since the Swedish study decades ago. For example, the United States EPA formed new policies to prevent pollution from smaller engines.

That was after concluding that non-road engines such as chain saws, leaf blowers, mowers, and various garden tools contribute to about 9% of air pollution. Although all set standards have helped curb the issue of lawn mower emissions, the only fact is that electric lawn mowers are environmentally friendly compared to petrol equipment.

Are Electric Lawn Mowers Good for the Environment?

It is with no doubt that electric mowers have multiple advantages over gasoline mowers. Most users love them since they are quieter and environmentally friendly lawn mowers.

However, keep in mind that they will be eco-friendly depending on the mechanism used to produce the electricity powering them. For instance, if the source of electricity running your mower is from coal plants, you may be polluting the environment without noticing.

However, electric mowers will always be best compared to gasoline equipment. That is because power plants burn fuels more efficiently compared to small engines powered by carbon-based fuels.

Moreover, they utilize different approaches to capture and reduce emissions. The best thing is that you will not have to deal with gas emissions and fuel spills when using electric lawn mowers to keep your backyard in good condition.

Normally, your electric mower needs to run using clean energy and it should be energy efficient. To ensure that, you have to seek clean energy sources for your entire house. You can also join the government by adhering to laid down policies to prohibit pollution by small engine machines.

If you have a stream around your property, you can consider having your micro-hydro system. Also, you can use solar panels or wind turbines to charge your battery-powered lawn mowers.

Alternatively, you may use reel mowers, which are designed for cutting Zoysia and Bermuda grass. Although not perfect for larger lawns, reel mowers emit no harmful gases at all. Lawn mowers manufacturers are using different means to prevent environmental pollution. For instance, you can access powerful solar electric mowers that can run up to 3 days in full charge.

The Disadvantages of Using Electric Mowers

The main issue with electric cordless mowers is disposing of dead batteries. Unfortunately, stripping battery parts: freezing, crushing, and disposing of batteries that have no charge, can be costly. This technique ensures that chemicals from lithium batteries are of less concern. Keep in mind that dumping rechargeable batteries lead to landfill waste.

Can you recycle your lawn mower batteries? Well, this will depend on your region of residence. Confirm what your government says in that case. You can as well use the internet to search for local organizations that perform such tasks.

The best thing about this approach is that you will not have to replace your batteries now and then. Ensure that you charge your batteries after every use and keep them away from excess cold or hot. Nonetheless, you have to store your lithium battery with a charge of more than 30 percent to avoid damaging its battery life.

Another thing is that electric mowers are less powerful compared to gas-powered equipment. However, they are still effective in handling most of your yard operations.

Why Choose Electric Lawn Mowers

Are lawn mowers bad for the environment? Well, from the various studies, you can agree that not all lawn mowers are hazardous to the environment.

In that case, you may have to consider investing in an electric lawn mower since they are friendly to the surroundings. Electric mowers are the best for various reasons. For instance, they are quieter than gas-powered engines.

They ensure convenience when managing smaller yards and for those individuals who lack the mechanical skills to operate gas engines. If you are conscious about the environment and seeking ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you can use electric mowers for your lawn.


As much as you have many factors to ponder on when purchasing your backyard equipment, consider the environmental impacts of lawn mowing.

Gas mowers emit gases that may be harmful to the environment. Although electric mowers are not without their downsides, they are better than gas-powered machines when it comes to air pollution.

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