by Eileen Weber
If it has ever occurred to you that mowing your lawn with a gas mower is polluting the environment, you are not alone. Dan Delventhal, owner of MOWGreen, had that very same thought.
Every time he mowed his own lawn, he considered the fumes adding to the gunk in the air. And once his brother died of an environmentally caused cancer, that was the tipping point. With his brother in mind, he kicked off his new business in 2007, which is focused solely on getting the “gas off the grass.” In fact, this year MOWGreen has reached its one million auto-mile equivalent of saving 32,000 pounds of carbon emissions into the air.
“People don’t realize that using a gas mower is twenty times more polluting to the air than driving a car,” said Delventhal. “I want to change lawn care.”
For many homeowners, lawn care is a high-maintenance task that they just don’t have time for. So, they hire it out to other companies giving very little thought to how those companies operate.
By using 20-inch reel mowers--the kind your grandfather probably used when he was a kid--Delventhal has brought back something old and made it new again. He brings that old-fashioned grass mowing to New Haven, Fairfield, and Westchester counties. Delventhal is also quick to point out the benefit of mowing your grass with a reel mower: exercise. Why go to the gym when you can workout on our own lawn?
Larry Kaley, Chairman of Fairfield Earth Day Celebration and Delventhal’s first customer, has been a big supporter of reel mowing. “MOWGreen does a great job on my lawn,” he posted on MOWGreen’s web site. “Reel mowers are so quiet, it's relaxing, but also fun to watch the neighbors looking, trying to figure out what’s going on! ‘What, no roar of a carbon-spewing engine? What could they be doing over there?’”
He strongly believes, however, that Americans are so addicted to chemicals and poisons just to get a green lawn. We are spoon-fed the commercial hype that a perfect lawn is a status symbol.
“We’ve been bamboozled in a way that should be illegal!” he said.
With that, he made the concession that reel mowers aren’t a panacea. Using one is not about having a flawless lawn. It’s about having one that doesn’t ruin the atmosphere. As he puts it, his clients come to him because they are “green enough to care” about the environment.
Susan Baer, a Westchester resident and MOWGreen client for the last two years, will tell you that her lawn isn’t perfect. But other services use chemicals and pesticides and that was something she just didn’t want. She read about MOWGreen in a magazine and decided to give them a try.
“My lawn is not a prize lawn,” she said, “but I stopped using chemicals. The trees look better. We have more birds and rabbits. The wildlife certainly seems to like it. I’m very happy with the trade off.”
After growing his business in three counties, the next step for Delventhal is ultimately legislation. As far as he’s concerned, we need to educate our communities about the destructive power of gas. And, he's willing to do that one reel mower at a time.
If you’d like more information about MOWGreen or any of the products they use, visit them online at www.mowgreen.us.