22 June 2008

Good News: For budget, environment, health

This story focuses on the economic benefit, with an acknowledgement that what's good for the budget can also be good for the environment.

When Eric King moved from his apartment in Pittsburgh to a single-family home with a lawn, he bought a manual lawn mower instead of the usual gas-powered kind. He figures he's putting money in his pocket and saving trips to the filling station.

He's got plenty of company. Sales of manual — or push reel — mowers with the cartwheeling blades are on the rise this year...

"With the way gas prices are going through the roof and are going to stay there or increase even further, that was the main reason I considered one," said King, 29. "I don't consider myself an environmentalist; I consider myself an economist."

American Lawn Mower Co., a Shelbyville, Ind., manufacturer of manual and electric lawnmowers, says sales are up 60 per cent to 70 per cent over last year.

"It's unbelievable," said Teri McClain, inside sales administrator. "I think gas prices are playing a part in this."

...In King's neighbourhood, his push reel mower has become an instant hit. One neighbour told him she is buying one for herself and for her father. Other neighbours and passers-by can't resist trying the mower out.

"The way people are reacting you'd think it was the newest technology," he said. "They end up mowing half of my yard for me."

A third benefit is overlooked: improved health due to increased exercise.

Now, all we need do next is get rid of those damn blowers!

Anyone up for a sweep?

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