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Gratitude to BP and Its Oil Spill for My New Eco-Friendly Lawn Mower

Get a reel lawnmower and you can do a real quiet and clean job of mowing your lawn without gasoline! Get a reel lawnmower and you can do a real quiet and clean job of mowing your lawn without gasoline!

I have to thank Rosebud, BP and the BP oil spill for the most delightful eco-friendly nighttime activity I’ve had in a long time.

And not only delightful, but deliciously right, free from sin, and utterly green.

It all started when I read a Rosebud web magazine article that painted a very accurate picture of my gasoline machine-plagued suburban neighborhood.

The article described a typical weekend in the suburbs, my suburb, your suburb, most suburbs, in which people with gasoline-powered toys pour billows of blue-gray smoke into the air as they seek to make their yards look like a championship golf course.

And then the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster happened. I read how government agencies approved risky deep sea oil drilling without requiring BP to have a required, workable plan for handling an accident.

It seemed easy to blame only BP and the government, but then I went out to mow my lawn, and suddenly the dots connected for me- my lawnmower runs on gasoline derived from oil.

I had met the enemy…and it was me.

It was then I remembered my daddy had always told me about a lawn mower he used back in the 1930’s when he was a kid. Called a “reel” mower, it had no motor… just some wheels and sharp, spinning blades.

Voila, I found a reel mower on Amazon, and ordered it for only $125 including shipping. My lawn got higher and higher as my neighbors complained. “Why don’t you mow your lawn?” I replied: “I will, just wait and see.”

I came home from work a week later and there was the box with my unassembled reel lawn mower in it. Opened the box and saw that the only assembly required was to put the handle together and attach it to the wheel/blade combination.

By then it was long after sunset, but there was light from the moon. With mounting excitement, I realized I could mow my lawn at night, liberated from the heat of the day, without sending gasoline lawn mower noise into my neighbors’ lives.

I rushed out to the yard. The grass was about 4 inches high. It was the first time in my life I’ve enjoyed mowing a lawn. The reel lawn mower cuts better than a power mower, and the gentle whoosh-whoosh sound of the blades slicing the grass was music to my ears.

No loud noise, no gasoline fumes, no smoke, no pollution. And I’ve just looked at my lawn this morning in the light of day, and it’s beautiful- like a golf course.

It’s funny how people are. I looked up the history of lawn mowers and found this gem:

“America's love affair with the lawn mower is here to stay. There's something about cutting your lawn that drives some basic need for order and regulation that a freshly mown lawn gives us. The feeling of standing behind that smoke-belching, engine- roaring, grass-throwing machine is like no other feeling I know, unless of course you like to ride your Harley-Davidson loud and thundering on a Saturday afternoon.”

As far as I’m concerned, my love affair with the eco-friendly reel lawn mower is here to stay. The feeling of cutting my grass without generating noise and air pollution, without fueling the petroleum-industrial cycle that leads to BP oil spill disasters…that’s worth gold to me.

BP doesn’t like the reel lawn mower, but you will.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 09 November 2010 17:48

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