At Yard Hero we took a look in the mirror to reflect on all aspects of yard, lawn and property maintenance and its impact on the environment, our business footprint and our contribution to greenhouse gases and climate change.
What we discovered was that gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment ranging from string trimmers to stump grinders to tractors are sources of high levels of localized emissions that includes hazardous air pollutants, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and carbon dioxide. Workers using commercial equipment are exposed when they are close to the emitting sources several hours each day, several days a week in seasons of use. Other members of the public, including children, may also be exposed to high levels of emissions from commercial landscape maintenance equipment such as leaf blowers, trimmers, and mowers, used routinely around residential neighborhoods, schools, parks, and other public spaces. The commercial landscape maintenance industry has experienced strong growth over the last 15 years and depends largely on gasoline-powered equipment for most tasks once performed manually. These factors are raising concerns about the health impacts of these emissions on workers and the public.
Extensive evidence exists on the adverse health effects of exhaust emissions and other fine particulates which include cardiovascular disease, stroke, respiratory disease, cancer, neurological conditions, premature death, and effects on prenatal development based on short term and long term exposures.
Gas-powered landscape garden equipment accounts for 24%−45% of all nonroad gasoline emissions across North America. Gasoline-powered landscape maintenance equipment ( leaf blowers/vacuums, trimmers, edgers, and brush cutters) account for 43% of volatile organic compounds and around 50% of fine particulate matter. Two-stroke engines were responsible for the vast majority of fine particulate matter.
This realization meant that Yard Hero needed to address the common principles and practices of the industry differently and create new best principles and practices leveraging new technology as well as well founded historical proven practices of natural organic recycling, composting and permaculture.