Spring Is Coming – It’s Time For Human Powered Lawn Mowers.


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What? You expect me to go out and push around an old rusting manual lawnmower for hours and hours every Saturday? I don’t think so!

That is what I would have said when I was a kid or today if I had a very large yard like I did back then. But if I had a nice small patch of grass, I figure I could get away with just running one of these around once in a while:


But there alternatives to the push mower that are more environmentally friendly than the old 2 stroke gas engine kind, which tends to pollute more on a single Saturday than your car does by driving a few thousand miles:

  • You can always go electric, which plugs right into the wall socket, makes no noise, and emits no pollution. Sure, you better have a very long extension cord and do your best to avoid running it over, but at least it’s quiet and you don’t have to push it.
  • You could also go battery operated, which charges up through the week and you can then mow “cord-free” in silence.
  • You could get a goat. OK, this might be a stretch but that would be pretty cool.
  • Lastly, you could use the sun for energy and get a solar-powered lawn mower that mows the lawn by itself. As an added bonus it is only $4,000.

So…would you trade in your gas engine mower for a “greener” version? Would you push an old reel mower around like your grandfather used to? I think it would be kind of fun…unless I owned a few acres of land. Then, not so much…

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  1. I’ve got an old-style push mower for my little patch of grass. I love using it because it is so quiet. One recommendation, be certain that your blades are sharp.

    I got quite a kick the other day when I got a “Lawn Doctor” mailer in my mailbox. All Lawn Doctor has to do is take a quick sweep through my whole neighborhood to see that there are a total of about 4 lots that actually have mow-able grass on them.

    The majority of the homes go with the natural grasses, cacti, sagebrush and rabbitbrush that grow naturally around here. Sure, whiffleball and football are a little more difficult, but sometimes you just have to make some tradeoffs.

  2. we LOVE our reel mower that we got for free on craigslist. (the real cost ended up being $25 because it needed sharpening). it cuts just as well as a motorized one, but it isn’t noisy. we rake up the clippings and compost them. it’s great.

  3. I have an electric mower. It’s makes some noise, but not as much as a gas powered mower, and it isn’t smelly. We have about a quarter of an acre, and I’ve never had a problem with the cord. You get used to paying attention to it. I hate mowing regardless, but the mower works well.

    I would much rather have a goat. 🙂

  4. Allie – how loud are those?

    Ron – I understand, my yard growing up was way too big too for anything other than a big lawn mower. Man I hated spending an hour or 2 mowing that lawn every Saturday!

  5. Unfortunately, I’m in the waaaaay too much yard category. I’d LOVE to use a quiet pushmower, not only for environmental reasons, but because they are so much simpler to operate! Seems like I spend every Saturday in the summer cursing my lawnmower. (blasted piece of junk, gets me going just thinking about it)

  6. I don’t know, you could be on to something that would reduce emissions and resolve the obesity epidemic in this country through the exercise people get get pushing these manual mowers.

  7. Ron- I imagine I might follow suit if it was taking me 4 hours…either that or I would let it turn into a patch of wild grass!

  8. @ David
    I broke down and bought a riding mower because the 22″ push mower was taking me FOUR HOURS to mow the yard on Saturdays. Even though the new mower is gas powered, I figure I’m polluting less because I can get it done in one fourth the time….plus just the time savings.

    Hopefully the new one won’t break down like the old one 😀

  9. Great post – I might do a companion piece on snow shoveling although I guess my timing is a bit off.

    I’m a big believer in manual mowers – cheaper, better for the env. and in my opinion the biggest tangible benefit is the exercise!


  10. We bought an electric lawnmower from Black and Decker off of Amazon last year when we bought our first home.

    It doesn’t make “no noise”. You’re still running a motor that spins a blade. It is quieter than a gas mower, but it still makes noise. The wire can be annoying, but it’s worth it.

    A new manual mower, if I remember correctly, was $100+ at Sears. Our electric was around $220 and I think, definitely worth it.

  11. Wonder if my comment would be in line, but I purchase a human powered-lawnmower 3 months ago and it has made mowing more exciting,very good execrise, play ipod while do it. And good enough reason to save on gas. – Eco-friendly & economical..

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