Making the Switch
Nature Center Phases Out Gas Power Equipment 

By Nick Mikash, Natural Resources Manager

Electric Leaf BlowerIn line with our mission of conservation and stewardship, the Nature Center has been transitioning away from gas power equipment where possible. Since 2018, the Nature Center has purchased battery-powered tools in an effort to move away from gas. To date, NCSL has two electric chain saws, a pole saw, a power auger, and two leaf blowers including a backpack model. Eventually, an electric push mower, snowblower, and a utility vehicle will be purchased as well if funding becomes available.

Switching to electric equipment helps reduce emissions and fossil fuel use as lawn tools and small engines account for an outsized contribution to VOCs and emissions. There are also potential health effects for the users of gas equipment that are minimized with electric tools. As technology improves, these battery-powered tools are often as capable as their gas counterparts and the NCSL staff enjoys the ease of operation, reduced maintenance, and quieter operation of our battery equipment.

Considerations for Purchasing Electric Power Equipment:

  1. Choose one brand of electric equipment and buy within that line. Batteries are generally interchangeable across different types of equipment for the same brand.
  2. Cordless can get the job done. Newer batteries last longer and charge faster.
  3. Electric equipment also tends to be lighter and easier to maneuver.
  4. Maintenance is easy. No spark plugs or filters are necessary.
  5. Don't wake the neighbors. Electric equipment is quieter and less disruptive than gas counterparts.

When it comes time for you to buy new lawn care equipment, consider making the switch or encouraging your landscape service to do so as well!