Sustainable Yards

Residents fight air and noise pollution by swapping their mowers

Many Concord yards are getting healthier and quieter thanks to the Concord Lawnmower Swap. Last Saturday, nearly 100 Concord residents rolled up to Concord Public Works to recycle their noisy, pollutant-belching gas mowers.

In return for this eco-friendly gesture, they received a deep discount on the clean, green and serene battery-powered electric EGO mowers rated #1 by Consumer Reports. Thanks to the Cooler Concord $100 rebate available from the Town of Concord and additional discounts from partner Home Depot, residents could feel good about saving money while at the same time helping to reduce carbon emissions.

“This is perfect timing for me,” said Doug Johnson, who drove his riding gas mower from his home to Keyes Road to turn it in. “I was going to have to put a lot of money into my gas mower and I wasn’t looking forward to that. I’m happy to have the opportunity to go electric!”

Residents got to see a wide variety of electric yard equipment demonstrated by the EGO marketing rep, from a large battery-powered commercial grade mower (courtesy of Concord’s own Eco-Quiet Lawn Service) to an electric snow-blower, chain saw, leaf blower, and string trimmer.

“It feels like the electric revolution!” said resident Patrick Kleyn who was very impressed with the power and quietness of the EGO mower. “With the rebate and the environmental benefit, it’s pretty much a no-brainer.”

Meanwhile, Concord Public Works staff were kept busy loading residents’ old gas mowers into a large container which Framingham Salvage will take away and recycle.

According to Jamie Banks, Executive Director of non-profit Quiet Communities in Lincoln, who together with Concord’s Comprehensive Sustainable Energy Committee (CSEC), helped organize the event, replacing these gas mowers with electric ones will cut 48 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

“Concord is leading the way. It’s reducing its carbon footprint, as well as pollution and noise that are harming our health and environment,” said Jamie, “The success of the swap could not have happened without the teamwork between CSEC, Quiet Communities, Concord Public Works, and business partner, Home Depot Waltham,” she added.

In fact, the trailblazing Concord event is the first of its kind in the Northeast. It caused such a buzz that residents of other towns who stopped by to check it out are already talking about holding their own swaps.

A hearty thanks also to partner Home Depot, who trucked in 90 EGO mowers at 7am that day, and worked tirelessly to make the event run smoothly. Waltham Store Manager, Mike Aubin, was impressed with the program’s success, and hopes to partner with other towns to run similar programs.

“Orange is the new green!” quipped Aubin, referring to how his company’s signature brand color will continue to support environmental initiatives, inspired by great community events such as Concord’s Lawnmower Swap. “We’ve seen our sales of electric mowers grow dramatically over recent years. This past year, we sold twice as many electric mowers as gas mowers.”

Did you miss the action? Don’t worry…it’s not too late to get in on this great deal, save some money, reduce air and noise pollution in your yard and be the proud owner of a state-of-the-art electric mower. But you’ll need to act quickly because this great program ends October 2nd. Visit this page for details now.

Movies of Eating Up Your Old Gas Mowers:,


Leave the leaves

Contributed by Priscilla Williams, President, Pumpkin Brook Organic Gardening

Every autumn in New England we get to witness a spectacular show when the leaves turn to bright oranges, reds and yellows. But soon enough the show ends, the leaves begin to fall and what remains is a bounty of nature’s very own mulch. Rather than bagging and hauling away this resource, consider the many benefits of shredding the leaves so that they can be used as leaf mulch, right on site.

Using leaf mulch on your property offers several benefits:

  • Cuts down on need for watering
  • Recycles local leaves
  • Controls soil erosion and retains soil moisture
  • Regulates soil temperatures
  • Reduces weeds
  • Mitigates drought stress
  • Adds nutrients and improves soil structure while adding beneficial fungi and microorganisms

Leaf mulch can be thought of as compost waiting to happen. Have you ever been out in the middle of the woods and observed the soil? It’s a rich brown color with a great earthy smell. It’s teeming with beneficial microorganisms and organic matter. This soil is created year after year by decomposed leaves. Fallen leaves contain 50-80% of the nutrients taken from the soil and air during the growing season. As the leaves decompose, those nutrients are released back into the soil and made available to plants. Shredding leaves speeds up the decomposition process and creates uniform, aesthetically pleasing mulch.

Leaf mulch can also be stored to later be used as necessary carbon-rich “browns” balancing out the compost pile. Brown materials can be hard to come by in summer when so many nitrogen- rich “greens” are abundant from weeding and deadheading. If you’ve planned ahead and stored a few garbage bags of leaves in your garage over the winter, you won’t have any problem making an ideal compost come summer.

This fall, consider leaf mulching as an option during a fall cleanup. For example, our company can use a commercial grade leaf shredder, or you can use your own mower to shred a shallow pile of leaves. Leave the results right on your lawn as a natural fertilizer, or put the shredded leaves right back onto your garden beds and reap the benefits!

Or, even easier, don’t bother with shredding leaves. Simply leave a 3-4” layer of leaves on garden beds to protect perennials, shrubs and trees over winter. “Bald” or bare soil in the beds, with every scrap of mulch blown away and all leaves removed, can lead to plant losses in harsh winters with widely fluctuating temperatures. Clean up more thoroughly in the spring.

Electric Lawn Care Customer Testimonial

Unsure whether you should switch to an electric mower this fall?

Just listen to what Concord residents are already saying about the EGO electric mowers:

Rob L., who recently purchased an EGO mower, said that “it’s a lot lighter than the old gas one, so I can push it faster, and get the job done more quickly.”

Lighter equipment means less time spent mowing and an easier mow, allowing you to escape from the summer heat outside.

Rob also pointed out that there is “no carbon dioxide to breathe in” and that he “no longer has to crank up iTunes to ear-splitting levels because it’s much quieter.”

Reduced noise levels and low carbon dioxide pollution are only two of the many benefits that you could receive by switching to an electric mower this summer. And with Cooler Concord’s current rebates, you will also be saving a lot of money.

Check out why happy Concord residents like Rob and others have already made the switch by attending the Concord Lawnmower “Swap Plus” event on September 23rd, and don’t forget to pre-register for the event to reserve your mower and rebate.

The deadline for registration has been extended until August 31st but more than a third of the mowers available have already been reserved! Register TODAY to lock in your savings and reserve your new EGO electric lawn mower.