It has been a pretty great holiday. The weather has been consistently warm, some rain (no doubt not enough for the farmers) and lots to do.
About 12 months ago our lawnmower decided it would no longer start. In fact I was using it and with a ‘spooff’ and ‘phlutt’ it ceased operating and was not to start again. Oil leakage was evident and for several months it sat outside before one of my sons decided he could get it going and took it off to his flat. I have never seen or heard of it again.
I was hesitant to buy another mower straight away but the lawns did encourage me to act. I began hiring a mower when I needed one and at an average cost of $23 per hire it was a relatively cheap way to cut the lawns. I hired the mower once a month and one month I also hired a line trimmer. The staff at the hire centre always gave great service, very friendly and polite and the mowers were in great condition. The mowers made a great job of the lawns and after 11 months of hiring I have spent around $300.
I thought I would investigate purchasing a mower and had seen new push mowers for sale at around the $100 mark. A push mower was an attractive idea as you could get some exercise while mowing, have no noise, and no petrol and oil required. And if I found a second hand one then I was re-using and recycling!
The non use of fossil fuels was a good idea also because I am now driving about 90km a day to St Matthew’s and a small green gesture such as a push mower meant I was at least making an effort to reduce my dependence on oil. I’m not so sure about carbon footprints and carbon neutral concepts – it just make sense to use less.
I was out for a run and saw Phil using a push mower. He said it was the way to go as long as you had sharp blades and he recommended I get one. I began looking on Trade Me for a mower and put a bid in for a couple. I eventually bought one for $49. In the meantime I had passed a garage sale during a run and had bought a push mower for $20. So now I have two push mowers. One is slightly better than the other and is in better condition. Neither has a catcher but so far this is not an issue.
I have begun mowing the lawns with a push mower and I am enjoying it. It is honest work and you certainly raise a sweat. You need to generate a fair bit of energy to spin the blades and cut the grass but the lawns look good after a cut. The mower I have does miss a few of the stalks and I either pull these by hand or leave them.
I will get the blades sharpened soon and will try to keep the push mowing going for a few months. If the lawns get away on me I can always hire a mower to get them back under control but in the meantime I am getting honest physical work, saving the environment and keeping the lawns neat and tidy.
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