MowGreen Sustainability & Top Impacts
MowGreen reduces air and water pollution caused by gasoline and chemical based lawncare, as a carbon neutral company, focused on sustainable lawncare services and technologies.
The lawncare industry is $4 Bn dollars and includes 10% of property owners, or about 7 MM nationally, while there another 70 MM self-maintained properties. The EPA estimates that lawncare emissions are 5 to 10% of our air pollution. Also, lawn chemicals wreak havoc with water pollution and public health issues due to runoff, endrocrine disruption and carginogenic qualities.
MowGreen sells innovative green products, provides innovative green services, and promotes a green lifestyle to customers, prospects, community, public and staff through online content in website, blog, social media, mass emailing, public speaking, emceeing, exhibiting, sponsoring, constant discussion and policy in all we do. MowGreen has aligned in these ways at many of the 100’s of events that TownVibe Green Individual ’15 award winner Daphne Dixon has produced.
Our service area includes Westchester, Fairfield and New Haven counties, while we have also coached individuals, similar businesses and provided green products nationally and plan to expand nationally. Founder Dan Delventhal attributes a large portion of MowGreen’s 44% 2016 growth to his TownVibe Green Individual award for 2016.
Green services include mowing, leaves management, trimming, pruning, sawing, aeration and hedging with manual or electric gear that is non-polluting and quiet. The average home that uses gasoline for these activities produces emissions of more than 4 metric tons of carbon and other air pollution per year, or the emissions equivalent of an extra car driven for 12,000 miles.
Our green services also include 100% organic lawn treatments for ticks, lawn and shrub disease, weed control, fertilization, PH adjusting, composting and overseeding (http://mowgreen.us/mowgreen-guide-21-green-lawncare-topics/). We eliminate more air, soil and water pollution and public health threats in doing so.
By promoting and selling green products for treatments, we reduce pollution and disease in our customer base and help change the self-maintaining portion of the population too through our advocacy. We don’t just use corn gluten for pre-emergent weed control and natural nitrogen fertilizer, but it’s a rare certified non-gmo organic corn gluten. We don’t just promote weed control through overseeding with grass seed, we use native, deep root, low maintenance and slowest growing (Popular Science) Pearl’s Premium grass seed for example.
MowGreen encourages a green lifestyle regarding sustainable lawncare practices, while also promoting other green methods whenever possible, like solar power, clean electricity, home energy audits, composting and carbon credits purchases.
We also pay our staff better than our competitors with minimum wage of $15 hourly up to $20 hourly. Our staff is trained in all manners to reduce waste including recycling, re-using, repairing, no idling, composting, Safelawn.org organic lawncare guidance and more.
Values: Reduction, Ecology, Ethics, Life sustaining, & Respect, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Lasting value (REEL).
Mission: Get the Gas off the Grass, then, More Food Growing, Less Lawn Mowing.
Vision: National Network of locally managed and centrally supported eco-friendly gardening & lawncare.
The most significant 2 green accomplishments, with relevant data to demonstrate true impact:
One of MowGreen’s most significant green accomplishments is carbon emissions reduction. Over 250 metric tons of carbon and other air pollution were avoided in 2016, up from 200 in 2015, while the company grew 44%. In our 9 year history, we have avoided over 1300 metric ton’s of carbon pollution and over 3000 acres have been mowed/maintained without gas, avoiding over 5 MILLION auto-mile equivalent emissions since 2007.
Because the average home that uses gasoline for these activities produces emissions of more than 4 metric tons of carbon and other air pollution per year (EPA estimate), or the emissions equivalent of an extra car driven for 12,000 miles, each new customer effectively takes a car off the road. That average home with gas lawncare gear burns about 20 gallons which is 20 times more polluting than in a car. At 30MPG, thats 20 gals. x 20 times more polluting x 30 mpg, or 12,000 auto-mile equivalent emissions.
People often think our gains are limited due to charging batteries with utility electric, based on fossil fuels possibly. Not in our case. We have solar on the roof at HQ, and when the sun isn’t shining, our electric supplied is opted in at 100% renewable. We claim carbon neutrality by also purchasing carbon offsets for gas burned in autos between jobs to zero it out at year end. We’ll go to electric work autos soon also.
In addition to the carbon emissions avoided (about 250 metric tons per year and growing), our eco-impact also involves quieter, more peaceful neighborhoods in Westchester, Fairfield and New Haven Counties, and a lot less chemical impact on the soil, water and air for healthier communities all around.
Our second significant accomplishment is our survival and leadership in gasoline free (as well as organic) lawncare. Through our advocacy, on line, at events, in MBA class, on TV (http://mowgreen.us/project/news-12-report/ ), etc., we have educated and influenced thousands of individuals to consider changing their methods, even if they didn’t hire us.
In the startup years electric mowers didn’t even exist, but we worked hard to promote reel mowers and even invested in converting combustion engine mowers to burn hydrogen. We had a solar powered hydrogen electrolyzer producing hydrogen in Fairfield and we developed a couple proto-type hydrogen burning mowers and probably went through 50 tanks of 2000 psi hydrogen actually mowing lawns before scrapping the project. We are known as reel mower experts and have assisted reel mower owners with sharpening, choosing models, and have even run a reel mower adoption service. Also, we invented a gang kit to help reel mowers become faster and more effective, with an overlapping and wider cutting swath. MowGreen invented the Reel2Reel gang kit and manufactures them in Bridgeport CT. It took many years and switching designs and manufacturing partners to perfect the 34 or 48 inch wide reel mower innovation and some units have been sold and shipped nationally, while we enjoy using them as well in our practice when not electric mowing.
We are proud of our survival because it required $60,000 and 12,000 hours invested to become sustainable as a business and founder Dan Delventhal did this while also earning an MBA and holding a full time high tech job to support it.
To put our impact in context, consider that converting the average home to solar from fossil fuel based electricity also avoids about 4 or 5 metric tons of carbon emissions (effectively taking a car off the road). Enphase Energy Enlighten reports bear that out at our HQ, also equating that to producing about 7 Megawatts of clean energy or the carbon sequestering work of 100 trees. So our customers’ footprint equates with benefits of hundreds of megawatts of clean energy or 10,000 trees. Our education and advocacy has probably amplified our impact at least 100 times beyond our customer base, so perhaps our impact has been as high as if thousands of homes converted to solar, or the equivalent of around 70,000 megawatts of clean energy! And we plan to invest and grow even faster in 2017 than in 2016 (44% growth thanks in part to TownVibe’s Green Individual award ’16 exposure for founder Delventhal).
Now that commercial electric mowers and more powerful battery powered blowers have become available we are viable and competitive at close to even money with the dirty lawncare industry and we are mildly profitable. All profit has gone into new equipment (mid-size electric mowers and better battery blowers, etc.) and the same will happen next year when we purchase a new 5 foot wide electric riding mower with a solar charging canopy (https://goo.gl/photos/PptRQq8jYaBN2HH28 ) for $25,000. We plan to grow 10x locally and ultimately to expand nationally, perhaps through licensing or franchising, because there is no reason for people not to shift their budgets for such a mighty gain; to reduce U.S. air pollution by up to 5 to 10%. We are glad to be early supporters and to prove the viability of such compelling and affordable options to reduce consumption, noise, toxins and most importantly, carbon emissions.
Author: Dan QuiMowte
Dan QuiMowte is the Man of LaMowGreen. He has an Impossible Dream to eliminate gasoline from lawn care and ultimately hopes to reduce lawns also, with food gardening. Since 2007 he has been promoting green lawn care, Clean & Serene, No Gasoline (SM).