Buildings, both residential and commercial, are energy-hungry. According to a report issued by ResearchGate, buildings here in the US consume up to 40% of our energy resources. But thanks to the green building movement, by using eco-friendly materials and better building practices, National Geographic reports an immediate reduction of energy consumption by 25% and water savings of 11%.

Unfortunately, even with awards like LEED certification that tout a building owner’s commitment to saving energy and the environment, there is still sound and air pollution to consider—the kind that comes from the gas-powered landscaping tools used to manicure the building’s grounds.

Why build a green building if its grounds are maintained with some of the most noxious, emission-spewing equipment imaginable? That’s where eco-friendly landscaping comes in.

Keeping the Green, Green

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Photo courtesy of EGO POWER+

The sound of gas-powered grounds maintenance can be deafening. But did you know that the screech of blowers and string trimmers and the rumble of mowers are also the sounds of some of the most polluting engines on the planet? Edmunds put a pickup truck and a two-stroke leaf blower to emissions tests and found that the two-stroke emitted nearly 299 times the hydrocarbons of the truck. That’s brutal for the person operating it, the people within earshot of it, the community in which it resides, and the planet it calls home.

The negative impact of gas-powered outdoor equipment is so great that bills are now being proposed to phase it out. According to the California Globe, Assembly Bill 1346 would require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to prohibit the sale of new gas-powered, small off-road engines commonly found in gardening and outdoor equipment such as lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and chainsaws.

But here’s the good news. Green practices can extend well past the walls of a green building with battery-powered outdoor power equipment alternatives.

Battery-Powered Outdoor Power Equipment Surpasses Gas

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Photo courtesy of EGO POWER+

There are a number of advantages to converting from gas-powered outdoor power equipment (OPE) to battery-powered alternatives.

According to an article by Consumer Reports, cordless tools offer public health benefits. “Electric mowers are vastly preferable to gas models because they generate no tailpipe emissions,” says Simon Mui, a Li-ion battery expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Compared with gas engines, which emit carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons, “electrics offer a lot of public health benefits,” he says.

Another obvious benefit to battery-powered equipment is the low level of noise. Imagine having a conversation with a crew wielding gas-powered equipment. It’s loud. You can’t hear. And if you have to get close enough to talk, you’re exposing yourself to the previously mentioned toxic stew of emissions.

On the other hand, you can actually have a conversation with a person operating battery-powered OPE thanks to minimized sound and lower vibrations. Another benefit of eco-friendly landscaping: You never have to worry about the toxic gas fumes.

The Power of Gas Without the Noise, Fuss or Fumes

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Photo courtesy of EGO POWER+

Of course, there are arguments against battery power. Time is money. I need to get the job done and move on to the next. I don’t have time to charge batteries in the middle of the day. Battery-powered OPE is underpowered and overpriced.

But the truth is that groundskeepers and landscaping crews no longer have to sacrifice the power of gas when converting to battery. Solutions like the EGO POWER+ Platform offer the industry’s most advanced technology. According to leading consumer publications, EGO is the No. 1 rated battery platform based on power, performance, durability, and value. All 50-plus tools in the EGO platform match or surpass the power of gas—without the noise, fuss, or fumes.

But the proof is in the people who use it every day.

Dan Delventhal converted his company, MowGreen, out of Fairfield, Connecticut, into a totally battery-powered lawn and landscape service back in 2006. “There isn’t much work that we can’t do with battery-powered machines.”

Dave Mitchell of Mitchell Landscaping has been slowly converting from gas to battery. “You’ll pay a bit more for battery-powered equipment right now, but the cost savings and maintenance savings will make up for that in about a year,” Mitchell says.

Green buildings are a huge advancement toward a cleaner environment, but the advantages they bring can easily be negated by the gas-powered tools used to maintain the nature that surrounds them. Eco-friendly landscaping advancements in OPE like EGO brand mowers and leaf blowers improve the environment around green buildings, which improves the quality of life for communities they are in.

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gb&dPRO members are recognized experts in their fields and contribute opinion columns as one of their member benefits. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and may not reflect the view of gb&d. We are committed to a diversity of voices advocating for high-performing, sustainable built environment practices. We’d like to hear what you think about this article or any of our other coverage. Send us an email at [email protected].