If you like to look after the local wildlife, or are concerned about pollution, a manual mower might be a good fit for you and your garden. These little mowers have several features that can help turn your lawn from ecological desert into a haven for local flora and fauna.
One of the biggest hazards to lawn life, and indeed all wildlife in the garden, is pollution.
This gives man-powered reel mowers a massive ecological advantage. With no fuel to top up, there is no possibility of spillage, which can be fatal to local ecosystems—especially if you have ponds or streams where frogs or fish like to hang out.
When that fossil fuel comes out the other end of a typical lawn mower engine, it is in the form of toxic greenhouse gas to be shot up into the atmosphere.
And if you don’t think a lawn mower can generate a significant amount of greenhouse gas, think again. Emission controls of lawn mowers are not as sophisticated as on automobiles, and according to a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, A single gas-powered mower is responsible for releasing an average of almost 90 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. And if you are walking right behind this engine, you will be breathing in those smelly fumes and damaging your own inner ecological balance!
The other form of pollution that gas or electric powered mowers create is often forgotten, but it can damage your relations with neighbours as much as it damage your can local ecosystem.
The constant whine of gas powered lawn mowers is the soundtrack to many suburban summers, but it is not healthy for local wildlife. While the grass might not be able to hear anything, birds and other mammals can be affected.
Studies have shown that loud noise can scare away the carnivores at the top of the food chain, letting those down the lower food chain proliferate, like those slugs eating away at your vegetable patch!
With a push mower, you can actually mow and listen to the birds sing, the sound of crickets chirping, and the wind in the trees — with only the quiet therapeutic click clack of the mower to interrupt your reverie.
No Need for Fertilizer
The average lawn, with its regal stripes and carefully trimmed shards of grass, is actually an ecological desert, that relies on lots of artificial fertiliser to maintain a fresh green appearance.
This fertiliser can have disastrous consequences for the local environment,seeping into water bodies and creating eutrophication, or damaging plants when used to excess.
Mulching with a traditional push mower is one way to avoid this. Although some push mowers come with a grass box, most rely on good old fashioned mulching — where grass is chopped up into tiny bits by the mower blades, and then dispersed as you move down the lawn.
The best mulching mowers will chop these clippings into tiny pieces so that they do not form clumps, and are spread out evenly across the law. These are then broken down by microorganisms in the soil which release much-needed nutrients from the plant material back into the earth, providing potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus without any need for fertilization.
A Free Workout!
As long as you are there to look after your garden, you can help it become an ecological haven—and using a manual mower might just help you stick around a little longer!
Instead of sucking in fumes from gas mower, pushing a manual mower around can help you get a workout in the fresh air. As they are easy to carry and maneuver, this provides a very real, but manageable way for even older people to get in a little bit of exercise and help both you and the garden to be healthier.