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Cut the grass without the gas

It's summertime and maintaining the lawn is a must, but rising gas prices can make this costly. TODAY contributor and do-it-yourself expert Lou Manfredini offers suggestions for how to keep your yard clean-cut while cutting your costs and being green.

The EPA estimates that the average homeowner spends about 40 hours a season cutting their lawn. If they use a traditional gas-powered lawn mower, they can produce as much pollution as 40 cars on the road traveling 12,000 miles a year. And with the average gas price above $4 a gallon, it is also becoming more expensive to keep your lawn looking good. There are several new non-gas lawn mowers on the market that do a great job, are lightweight and are much better for the environment. Here are some examples:

Let’s start with a tried-and-true model, the Scott’s push reel mower. These units use people power to cut your lawn. Their retail price is between $120-$200 and they work really well. This is a perfect choice for those who have a smaller yard, and would like to use cutting their lawn as a form of exercise, too. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to stay on top of cutting your lawn because if it gets too long, it is very difficult to push these mowers. You’ll find these at most hardware stores and home centers across the country.

The Earthwise™ Cordless Mower is new for this season and offers a 24-volt battery and allows you to rear-bag, side-discharge or mulch your grass clippings. For $299 it is the least expensive cordless unit available. Go to Reelin.com to find a retailer near you.

The Remington® Power Mower offers a 17-inch cutting deck and 60 volts of power and the battery is removable, which means with an extra battery you can keep cutting for up to two full hours. One other benefit is that this unit also runs off a cord, so if you forget to charge your battery and are ready to mow, you can plug the unit in and cut directly from your home electrical system. The Power Mower is sold at Ace Hardware, True Value Hardware and Menards across the country. For more information you can go to Remingtonpowertools.com. Suggested retail, $450.

The Neuton® Battery Powered Lawn Mower has been completely redesigned for this year. This sleek, lightweight unit is easy to use, offers a removable battery for longer running time and has an accessory kit that’s available to use as a trimmer and edger. The 19-inch cutting model costs $499 at Neutonpower.com and selected retailers across the country. They also offer a battery-operated garden cart that can hold up to 200 pounds, and can assist you with moving the weight around your yard.

If you want to really be self-sufficient and eliminate any energy costs, then consider a solar panel. For around $200 you can purchase a solar panel that can generate enough power from the sun to charge a 24-volt battery in less than a week. The larger the battery, the more panels you’ll need. In fact, the one we featured on the show is so tough you could mount it on the mower itself. Learn more at Batterystuff.com.

With gas prices continuing to rise and our concern for the environment also heightening, these options offer a real solution to everyday chores. Please consider a small step like this to help green up your lawn and Mother Earth.

If you have more questions or comments, please visit Lou Manfredini at .

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