Electric Lawn Care Finds Success in Woodstock

By Jenevra Wetmore

Electric lawncare equipment looks and functions much like gas-powered counterparts. Photo courtesy of Rooted Gardens.

With summer comes the near constant drone of lawn mowers, weed whackers, leaf
blowers, and other lawn equipment. This summer Sustainable Woodstock partnered
with Rooted Gardens, the Upper Valley’s first electric-powered landscaping service, to
demonstrate alternatives to gas-powered lawn equipment. Our partnership brought an
all-electric lawn care contractor to Woodstock for the first time, mowing the
Ottauquechee Health Center, Faulkner Park and four private residences every
Wednesday. It has been a very successful season, and next year we are looking to
expand this partnership to more businesses and residences in Woodstock.

How does Rooted Gardens mow without using gas or diesel? They use a combination
of push mowers, riding mowers and smaller equipment such as weed whackers, just
like any other landscaper. The only difference is that this equipment runs on electricity in
the form of batteries. Rather than fill up the gas tank, Matt, the owner, and his crew
replace and recharge batteries to mow all day. The Electric Lawn is one of a list of
contractors across the state who are using all electric equipment, and is the first in the
Upper Valley. Visit https://www.mowelectric.org/find-a-contractor to see other electric
contractors in Vermont.

Electric lawn equipment has advanced quickly– companies are now making commercial
grade riding lawn mowers that for 8 hours of run time. Little to no maintenance is
required, as there are far fewer moving parts in electric machines compared to gas-
powered machines. The low maintenance costs combined with a very low cost to run
electric machines (it costs less than $2 to charge a commercial mower that will run for 8
hours) means that the machines cost much less to run.

There are many other benefits to electric equipment. Electric lawn equipment is quieter
than gas-powered machinery, which produces constant noise, and which the CDC
reports can create long-term health effects including hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the
ears) and even cardiovascular issues. Noise is considered hazardous when it is 85 dBA
or above– If you must raise your voice when talking to someone about 3 feet away, the
noise level is probably at least 85 dBA. Consider how often you must raise your voice
above the noise of gas-powered lawn equipment, either when you use it yourself or
when you’re nearby. Electric lawnmowers are about 30 dB quieter than gas-powered

Electric equipment emits no harmful pollutants or smog-forming air pollution. Most gas-powered lawn equipment uses 2-stroke engine fuel, which is a gas-oil mixture that is especially toxic compared to automobile emissions. These emissions include hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides (components of smog), carbon dioxide, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These pollutants and fine particulates linked to cancer, asthma, heart and lung disease, and create smog-forming air pollution. This was the primary motivator for the Ottauquechee Health Center to use Rooted Gardens to mow this summer; in Executive Director Hali Robinson’s words, “we decided to go the electric lawnmowing route so we could encompass the full spectrum of health – which includes environmental health!”

Are you interested in getting involved in the electric revolution? Rooted Gardens has
openings for 2024 with neighbor discounts! Contact matt@myrootedgardens.com for
more information. Be the leader in your neighborhood.


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