|Local landscaping company makes significant changes to reduce its carbon footprint|
|Written by Deborah Stone|
Jeff and Linda Carroll, owners of Jefferson Landscaping in Woodinville, are proud to tell clients that their company is the first landscaping establishment in the state that has made a full conversion from gasoline to propane mowers.
It’s been a gradual process involving several years of research, motivated by the couple’s desire to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
Initially, they converted two of their midsize mowers to propane to see how they would perform.
Impressed with the results, they proceeded to convert their entire fleet of mowers; a goal they recently achieved.
“Linda and I hope that Jefferson Landscaping can do its part in leaving this planet in better shape for generations to come, for our children and their children,” says Carroll.
He notes that by converting to propane, the company is able to meet or exceed state EPA Clean Air requirements; reduce toxic emissions up to 80 percent; decrease ozone and particulate emissions up to 60 percent; provide customers with a cleaner environment; conduct safer operations than with gasoline; and lessen fuel spillage and theft.
Carroll explains that propane is a non-toxic, colorless and odorless gas produced from natural gas processing and crude oil refining.
It’s clean, efficient and has long been recognized as an environmentally friendly energy that is safe for use at home and in business environments.
Propane is an approved alternate fuel listed in both the Clean Air Act of 1990 and the Natural Energy Policy Act of 2005.
The benefits of using propane lawn mowers are numerous according to Carroll.
He says, “There’s less exhaust, less fumes and less noise. And the emission results to our planet are immediate.”
He adds, “Propane doesn’t contaminate the environment like gasoline and diesel. One gasoline-powered mower, for example, pollutes as much in one hour as 40 late- model cars. The propane mowers, on the other hand, produce significantly less hydrocarbons than gasoline and diesel mowers. Hydrocarbons are a precursor to ground-level ozone, a serious air pollutant and component of smog.”
As for cost savings, Carroll comments that he should be able to recoup his investment in three years.
Now that the company’s mowers are all converted, the couple is in the process of converting all of the two-cycle, hand-held equipment, including blowers, weed eaters and hedge trimmers, to battery power.
This will also help to decrease pollution and noise levels.
“When our clients are having meetings at their home office, it will mean less noise while our team is there,” explains Carroll. “It will make for a less disruptive meeting. The same goes for the few commercial accounts we have. I have been in several meetings where the blowers and line trimmers were so loud we had to stop the session for the landscape technician to pass by because of the noise.”
The local man notes that making these types of changes involves challenges.
He says, “The products are so new, it’s all a learning curve for everyone involved from manufacturer to the contractor. You really have to make sure you are receiving the correct information. And, of course, new technology means the products are expensive.”
In Carroll’s opinion, it’s these factors – cost and learning curve – that are at the root of why the majority of companies are hesitant to make conversions.
He adds, “With new technology, there are always a few problems. We think, though, that the small problems we run into are worth a cleaner environment.”