I heard a report on the radio today about an increase in sales of push mowers after years of decline. "Don't tell me", I thought, "that people are buying push mowers to combat "global warming" ". Sure enough -- they are.
Global warming: There's green in push lawn mowers
CHICAGO — Powerful, loud mowers have been showing lawns who's boss for decades.
But now contraptions that couldn't cut butter without a good shove are quietly — really quietly — making a comeback.
Manual lawn mowers, long the 98-pound weaklings of the tool shed, are being
pushed around more yards all over the country.
"It's phenomenal," said Teri McClain, inside sales administrator at the
112-year-old American Lawn Mower Co. in Shelbyville, Ind. "Sales continue to
rise every year."
McClain estimates that 350,000 manual mowers are sold in the United States each
year — most made by her company. That is just a fraction of the 6 million
gas-powered walk-behind mowers that hit the market last year.
Still, that number is about 100,000 more than were sold five years ago and
seven times as many as the estimated 50,000 a year sold in the 1980s, McClain
American Lawn Mower is the only company making manual mowers in the United
States, although some U.S.-based companies make them in other countries.
According to buyers and sellers, the resurgence is due mostly to environmental
concerns and an increasing number of women who do the mowing.
"I'm not a tree-hugger, but I think we all think about being more
environmentally friendly and leave less of a footprint on the world," said Ben
Kogan, of Chicago, who started using his new mower this spring.
The mower also is inexpensive, around $200. With the use of lighter metals and
plastic, it's a lot lighter than the heavy iron and wood mowers some baby
boomers remember pushing around.
Says Eric Skalinder, 35, a teacher in Chicago: "I don't have to worry about
gas, repairs and getting it started."