Small Engine Pollution
Contrary to what we might expect, small engine pollution tends to be higher than the pollution from that of larger ones. Two cycle engines are 30 to 40 times worse than four cycle engines. Four cycle engines are still much bigger polluters than cars. Small engines include lawn mowers, scooters, sea doos, mopeds, motor-boats, and motorcycles. One source claims that running a ski-do for an hour is about equivalent to running a fuel efficient car for a year.
One reason for this fact is that they burn fuel very inefficiently, especially older models. Motor boats not only pollute from their exhaust but the periodic spills of fuel add up to a large amount of contamination when added all together. Automobiles on the other hand have become more and more fuel efficient and their exhaust contains less pollutants. This has been driven by consumer demand and government legislation, not to mention foreign competition.
What can we do to reduce the impact of this significant form of pollution? We can buy four cycle engines which perform considerably better than the two strokes. Better yet, we can use electric powered units. We can use electric powered scooters; see GIO.
We can use electric tillers and other electronic gardening tools many of which run off batteries.
Even better solutions for the environment are hedge clippers and push mowers etc. that are powered by human effort.
Good quality manual push mowers are available at many retailers. Manual push mowers are an excellent choice if you have a small even yard and
feel good about a bit more exercise.
Much of our outdoor recreation machines are powered by these high polluting small engines. They expose us and the environment to high levels of toxicity.
Outdoor sports that are good for our health and the environment are hiking, swimming, canoeing, cross-country skiing and outdoor skating to name a few.
These activities are probably some of the best ways for each of us to reduce small engine pollution.
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