Mike has extolled the virtues of reel mowers, also called push mowers and cylinder mowers, noting that they are easy to use and fun. Stephanie at the Metro Home Show in Toronto shows off the new Brill Razorcut, that takes it to a whole new level- it is lighter, (17 pounds) it never needs sharpening (special steel blades) and the handle makes it fold up and store really easily.
It is also a lot quieter (yes, reel mowers do make noise) due to "touchless cutting"
It is still good exercise even with the lighter, more manoeuvrable Brill, burning off 408 calories an hour. The Canadian distributor of the German made Brill provides us out some statistics:
The over 20,000,000 small engines sold in North America each year contribute about one tenth of the total mobile source hydrocarbon emissions, and are the largest single contributor to these non-road emissions.
One problematic pollutant from mowers is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, said Roger Westerholm, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of analytical chemistry at Stockholm University.
According to an EPA study prior to the Clean Air Act of 1990, small engines from lawn and garden equipment make up almost nine percent of some types of air pollution.
A push reel /cylinder mower produces 0 carbon while cutting; & it also takes almost a 0 footprint in your garage!
cutting your lawn with a push reel / cylinder lawn mower is more sporting and cathartic (its actually enjoyable).
Over 60,000 accidents/yr related to gas rotary lawn mowers.
Over 580,000,000 gallons of gas used annually to "feed" the gas rotary lawn mower.
So if you are not going to get rid of the lawn, (our first recommendation) at least get rid of the gas powered mower.