By Rachael Green, Benzinga
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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one hour of operating a standard gas-powered lawn mower produces the same amount of air pollutants as driving a car for 45 miles. Adding to that, the process of refilling the gas tank on a lawn mower can result in accidental spills which release those pollutants into the air via evaporation and into the groundwater via seepage. While those spills may look small, the EPA estimates that about 17 million gallons of gasoline are spilled each year as a result of refueling lawn equipment.
While one household typically spends just 25 hours per year mowing their lawn, a single commercial landscaper will use lawnmowers for 406 hours per year on average. finding a way to curb the commercial use of gas-powered lawn equipment could be a key to addressing this contributor to carbon emissions.
That’s what the team behind Graze Mower set out to accomplish. The tech start-up is currently raising capital via a crowdfunding campaign to scale production of its eco-friendly all-electric autonomous lawn mower.
The Graze Mower Aims To Make Eco-Friendly Landscaping A Reality
One of the simplest solutions to the pollution problem of gas-powered mowers is to switch to electric equipment. An all-electric mower produces zero emissions during operation and doesn’t need to be refilled with gas, eliminating the risk of gasoline spills seeping into the groundwater.
No internal combustion engine also means less noise pollution. A standard gas-powered mower produces about 95 decibels of noise on average, a volume equivalent to a motorcycle. Meanwhile, the average electric mower produces 75 decibels, which is equivalent to a washing machine.
Graze’s autonomous lawn mower is 100% electric and powered by rechargeable batteries. Designed with large-scale landscaping jobs in mind, Graze can professionally mow up to three acres per hour and lasts up to eight hours on a single charge.
So commercial landscapers can tackle large jobs without worrying about the machine running out of power before it’s done. This makes switching to an electric mower and slashing carbon emissions and fuel costs a viable option for more landscapers.
To add to its eco-friendly benefits, Graze is a mulching mower, meaning it chops the grass clippings up into small pieces and returns them to the soil as it goes so that they can serve as mulch for the lawn.
Mulching recycles the nutrients locked in the clippings so that they can be reabsorbed by the lawn, allowing the lawn’s owner to rely less on environmentally-hazardous fertilizers. The simple practice is so effective, in fact, that a lawn can get up to 25% of its annual nitrogen requirements from recycled grass clippings alone. That’s about one full fertilizer application per year that can be skipped.
Mulching also conserves soil moisture by preventing evaporation and releasing the moisture locked in the clippings themselves back into the soil. This can reduce the amount of irrigation needed by as much as two-thirds. That layer of clippings on the soil even reduces weed growth by blocking the sunlight weed seeds need to grow, meaning fewer toxic herbicide treatments are needed to control weeds.
Plus, because Graze is fully autonomous, landscapers can slash labor costs while they’re at it. Workers can focus on the higher value tasks while Graze handles the mowing on its own, meaning jobs can get done by smaller teams or in fewer hours. Graze estimates landscapers cut labor costs by as much as 50% with one of its automated mowers.
Learn more about Graze’s autonomous mower and how to invest in the crowdfunding campaign here.
This article was originally published on Benzinga here.
Grazie is a fully autonomous and electric commercial lawnmower.
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