This is the most terrific story about a utility that is doing everything it can to make a difference and that would be the DWP [Department of Water & Power]. Handling water and electricity for vast swaths of L.A. County, the DWP’s mandate includes reducing smog and conserving water.
To reduce smog, the department offers a variety of rebates, as mentioned in a previous post, but what caught my eye awhile back was their offer of very-reduced-rate battery-powered lawn mowers. “How cool,” I thought when I first heard about it, ” but, hey, I have gardeners and my lawn is so big, I really have no need.”
Well, fast forward in my thinking to what I can do to help reduce smog and I wound up about 6 months ago reserving a lawn mower the next time they were distributed. That was yesterday at the Rose Bowl.
That’s Alison, Sales Manager for Neuton Inc., manufacturer of the lawn mower that I selected. Her mower is the 19-inch variety with an optional edger for which she gave us 30% off coupons. She was the first stop at the very-well-organized event at the Rose Bowl. With various stations set up and many, many workers it kind of reminded me of a haz-mat collection. Anyway, Alison demonstrated how the machine works.
I originally planned to buy the 14″ model–yes, we had to buy the machines. The 14″ was $100 and the 19″ which I wound up with was $160. Plus, of course, you have to hand over your old gas guzzler which I was very happy to do since, with gardeners, I don’t use it anyway. Each of the two models is guaranteed to have enough battery power to mow 10,000 square feet, the exact size of my lot and the 19-incher to do 15,000.
That’s me, wearing my Neuton baseball cap, with the mower back at home. Alison explained how everything worked and it’s beyond easy. The whole machine weighs 69 pounds. The battery under the light-colored cover just plugs into any outlet via an adapter like a telephone. It’s a bit heavy, but it doesn’t smell. It doesn’t leave an oil slick behind it. It doesn’t pose a fire hazard and I think this thing is really great.
Of course, we had to try it out today. The gardeners, true to form, are kind of hit and miss and have missed for the past couple of weeks so the grass was pretty high. No problem–the Neuton just zapped it all, and it’s quiet, at least compared to regular mowers. We left the mulcher in for half the lawn so the grass clippings remain on the lawn. I’ve never been able to convince my gardeners to do that; it just goes against their grain, I guess. And, then in the backyard where the grass was really high, we put on the leaf bagger attachment.
So, there you have it. This is my attempt to help reduce smog. I would also like to take out my lawn to help conserve water, but I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. When my gardeners come back, I will ask them to use my lawn mower instead of their own and I do hope they will agree.