What's powering your lawn care service?

Many environmentalists would argue (passionately) that “greening” your lawn means tearing it out, and replacing it with native plants or a vegetable garden. They’re generally right: by and large, lawns are water-hoggin’ monocultures that require relatively hefty amounts of energy to sustain.

If you’re not quite ready to dig up the grass, though, and you pay someone to maintain your lawn for you (or your landlord does), you can take a step towards a greener lawn by hiring a company that doesn’t use traditional gas-powered mowers. Eco-friendly lawn and landscape services are popping up all over the country, and in addition to offering natural methods of pest control and fertilization, many also use mowing equipment with significantly lower carbon and pollution footprints. Some of the alternatives you may see offered:

  • Propane: Probably the least green of the greener options, propane is derived from natural gas and oil. It does burn much cleaner than gasoline, though, and thus has lower emissions. Go Green! Lawn & Landscape here in St. Louis has just added some propane-powered machines to its fleet.
  • Biodiesel: A number of lawn services around the country are offering biodiesel-powered mowing, including Fort Collins, Colorado-based Clean Air Lawn Care (which has franchises around the country).
  • Conventional electricity: Some will always argue that electric powered motors simply shift emissions from the engine to the power plant, but electric mowers are generally more efficient that there gas-powered counterparts. Not many services promoting this, however… mainly because the next option really seems to be taking off…
  • Solar-generated electricity: A number of lawn care services around the country now offer solar-powered electric mowing… both clean and quiet! Among them: North Carolina’s Green Energy Lawn Care, and Minneapolis’ Earthworm Lawn Care.
  • Human power: This is about as green as it gets on the power front — Traverse City, Michigan lawn care company Clean Cuts uses reel mowers for cutting client’s grass. Others offer this option, too.

Of course, power is just one element of greener lawn care… drought-resistant grasses, and natural and organic pest control and fertilization go hand-in-hand with lower-polluting power equipment. SafeLawns is the mother lode when it comes to information on more environmentally-friendly lawn care.

Got a green lawn service you love? Let us know about them…


  • A green home to go with that green yard? Check out these seven buildings made from unusual recycled and reused materials.
  • Cut your own grass? Consider switching to a manual lawn mower.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dan4th/ / CC BY 2.0