Do Electric Gardening Appliances Reduce My Carbon Footprint?

What is A Carbon Footprint?

Carbon footprint is the total carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere through the activities of an individual within a specific time frame. This calculation is normally done yearly.

Burning Embers on a Fire

The various activities of humans do release some amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and this CO2 is also a major chemical contributor to ‘greenhouse gases’ which brings about global warming. Humans, either knowingly or unknowingly, through their daily activities add some quantities of carbon dioxide to the already existing carbon in the atmosphere and this in turn results in a worsening of the global warming situation being experienced nowadays.

Activities like driving a car that uses any of the fossil fuels as its energy source, heating your home and even producing food and other consumable products, in one way or another lead to the emission of CO2 gases into the atmosphere and this takes the global warming phenomenon to a whole new level. With an ever expanding population, you can easily see how this is being a major problem for us.

Understanding the concept of your carbon footprint helps us to get a better view of the impact our activities are having on our atmosphere.

Since nations and institutions began campaigning and creating an awareness for a reduction in the amount of harmful gases that the activities of man emit into the atmosphere, people have become more conscious of the impending danger our activities cause. This has led many to decide to adopt environmentally friendly attitudes to help sustain, if not make better, the climatic conditions we have right now. Some say that we are on the cusp of it being too little, too late.

Some adopted environmentally friendly ways of living

  • The use of electric vehicles: This is the use of vehicles that do not make use of fossil fuel as their energy source but rather use electricity to drive them. By using such a vehicle, an individual is able to drastically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted which would have been emitted into the atmosphere through the burning of the fuels by conventional vehicles.

Electric Car Recharging

  • Electric heaters: This has to do with homeowners going eco-friendly by choosing electric heaters as their main heating method in their homes over gas powered ones. Using these electric heaters ensures that the safety of the environment becomes our topmost priority. These electric heaters do not emit any of the harmful greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Its usage also ensures that the user is does not indirectly pollute the quality of air in his or her room as the usage of other heating methods like the wood-burning fire do tend to produce some amount of smoke which leads to air pollution. Moreover, these electric heaters also ensure that one’s room is not made dirty as there is no real fire and so no firewood is needed.

Gardening Appliances

As the campaign for an environmentally friendly way of living rages on, there seems to be an aspect that has somehow been relegated to the background of the fight against the worsening state of the environment. This has to do with the various gardening appliances that are being used by homeowners.

For a very long time now, people have resorted to the use of gardening equipment without giving a thought to whether they are environmentally safe or not. The lawn mower happens to be one such gardening appliance that has been widely used by both individuals and organizations without knowing how environmentally friendly they are.

Lawn Mowers

There are two main categories of lawn mowers and though they all ensure that we do get fine looking grass lawns, they do offer contrasting things when the safety of the environment is taken into consideration.

Gas/Petrol Lawn Mowers (Power Mowers)

These mowers have been in existence for quite some time now and the amount of harmful gases they emit into the atmosphere have gone unchecked for as long as into the mid 1990s.

When using these garden mowers do get the job done, it is important to know that the job gets done at the expense of the individual’s health and that of the environment. Their use comes with a range of problems that seem to always go unnoticed. Some of these problems are listed below:

McCulloch M46 125WR Lawn Mower

  • The older ones are the most inefficient lawn mowers around, whereas new machines such as the McCulloch m46-125wr are much more fuel efficient
  • Up to a third of their fuel and oil go unused as they leak out of the engine
  • They emit gases that are not only harmful to the human respiratory system but also contribute their quota in further deterioration of the problem of global warming
  • When the inhalation of these harmful substances go unchecked for some time, it eventually may causes cancers to develop and also harms the respiratory system
  • The smog that is emitted from these gas lawn mowers tends to inhibit the growth of the plants they come into contact with

Although these gas mowers are now being subjected to the EPA’s Phase II and Phase III regulations, which have significantly reduced the amount of greenhouse gases they emit, they still do use gas and the burning of petrol by the lawn mower leads to some degree of greenhouse gases being emitted.

Electric Mowers (Push Mowers)

These are lawn mowers which do not make use of any of the fossil fuels as its source of power. Rather, the use electricity to generate the power they need to get the lawn mowed. These mowers fall within the range of environmentally friendly garden power tools even though there remains some degree of pollution from their usage.

The usage of these electric lawn mowers presents the user with the following benefits:

  • They do not emit any harmful gases
  • They help in eliminating the situation where gas and oil spills onto the grass being mowed
  • They are also very efficient

Using an electric mower helps reduce carbon dioxide by as much as 80lbs within one year which is equal to the quantity of carbon dioxide released by just one power mower.

EPA Fact

The quantity of gas burnt by Americans in their bid to mow their grass every year is equal to eight hundred million gallons.

Union of Concerned Scientists Fact

The quantity of harmful gases released by a single power mower within the period of one hour equal that of 8 cars going at a speed of 55 mph over a one hour time frame.

The use of all other electrically powered gardening appliances reduces the quantity of harmful gases that would have been emitted into the atmosphere if gas powered gardening appliances are used.

Using the electrically powered gardening appliances in one way or the other helps in reducing the emission of GHG into the atmosphere and this eventually leads to creating a better environment for all humans.

Should I Use A Fire Or Heater To Heat My Home? How Efficient Are They?

It is very common these days to see people giving so much thought to the idea of getting their homes warm enough so as to ensure that they will be able to feel very comfortable when inside their homes. Winter always brings along a very severe form of coldness and it is always in the right direction to prepare oneself for such weather conditions. Being prepared enough also brings the problem of which heating method or equipment to use. There are numerous home heating ways known to man and each of these heating methods does come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Taking a closer look at some of the pros and cons of some of the most commonly used home heating methods helps you to arm yourself well enough to know which one to use with regards to your safety and how efficient such a heating equipment is.

Fireplaces

Having a fireplace in one’s home has always added some form of worth and class to that particular home. Listed below are some of the fireplaces that are currently being used in various homes, how efficient they are and some of their pros and cons.

Wood-Burning Fireplace

Fire, as we already know, has always been a major source of heat to mankind. The moment a fire is set; there is the generation of heat energy which ensures that the nearby surroundings around the fire become warmer. Making use of fire as a way of keeping our homes warmer has always been the most common way known to man since the day that fire was first discovered. Modern homes are now fitted with chimneys or fireplaces where logs are burnt during those times when the weather gets very cold. These days almost every homeowner or anyone looking to buy a house wants to be assured that the house he or she wants to buy has a chimney or a fireplace, although only a few really make use of the fireplace. Going the traditional way of getting your home warm with a chimney adds some worth to a property.

Ø  Advantages of a wood-burning fireplace

It presents one with such an antique sense of feeling as one is comfortably curled in a couch relaxing whilst the wood in burning in the chimney crackles producing such a nice smell.

Ø  Disadvantages of a wood-burning fireplace

  • When it comes to efficiency, wood burning fireplaces rank very low. Though one feels warm whenever these chimneys are lit, they do not necessarily mean that the rooms are also being heated. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the heat escapes through the chimney opening. The escaping heat from the fireplace also pulls with it the heat of other rooms in the house making the rooms colder than they were at first.
  • It also consumes the oxygen that is present in the room. This is also due to the fact that for burning to take place, oxygen should be present. This leads to pressure being put on the little oxygen present in the room.
  • It also brings about pollution of the atmosphere as the smoke feels the room. This is always mistaken for the burning wood having a nice smell.

Gas Fireplace

Another way of getting our various homes heated is through the use of gas fireplaces. This is the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as the main source of energy for the gas fireplace. Using the gas fireplace has some advantages and these include;

  • Using a gas fireplace makes it possible to have a very clean room which is not the case with using wood.
  • It does not leave unpleasant smell of smoke in your room
  • It does not use the oxygen in the room

The disadvantage of using a gas fireplace is that it is very costly to acquire a propane tank erected if you have a house which does not have a natural gas pipeline.

Moreover, there is the risk of accidental fires being caused by any unchecked leaks to the propane tank which may in turn lead to the loss of properties and even lives.

Electric Fireplace

This has to do with getting one of these technologically advanced modern day chimneys which uses electricity as its main source of energy. They come in various brands, makes and models and also have different sizes. This helps a potential buyer in getting the one that perfectly suits his or her home. They are also very stylish and therefore add worth and prestige to properties.

Ø  Advantages of an electric fireplace

  • It ensures that a room is heated very well without allowing the already existing heat to escape
  • They are also portable and as such can be moved to any place within the house where it is needed most
  • They also do not corrode easily hence they do last longer than the gas fireplaces
  • Due to the fact that electric fireplaces make use of electricity, they do not release any harmful substances into the atmosphere and this makes it have the edge over all the other heating equipment as humans keep looking for ways to reduce the GHG in the atmosphere

Ø  Disadvantages of an electric fireplace

  • The warmth in a room goes away as soon as there is an outage in power supply
  • Using an electric fireplace also causes your energy bill to increase sizeably

Taking a careful look at the pros and cons of all the above discussed fireplaces, one is bound to settle on an electric fireplace mainly due to it being Eco-friendly in nature and also being very efficient. Of all the discussed fireplaces, electric fireplace are the most efficient as it helps in heating a room without producing any harmful by-products.