Quiet snipping

Fiskars
StaySharp Max Reel Mower by Fiskars.

When I was little in the late 60s/early 70s I remember my grandmother pushing one of these around the yard. It sounded like a bunch of scissors snipping away at the grass. By the time I was old enough to be taught how to mow the lawn she’d taken ill and sold the mower to the maintenance guy who helped out around the neighborhood sometimes.

Honestly I don’t know what my carbon footprint is. I suspect it’s no larger than most people living in the States. I drive a gasoline powered car. I eat and drink out of plastic and aluminum. I have petroleum based cleaning products around the house. I’m slowly working to clean all that up. Slowly. I’ve been replacing the CFL bulbs with LED. I use plant-based soap in the shower and an organic toothpaste. I am not able to purchase a new vehicle right now. Something newer should run more efficiently.

A few months back I was driving through my mother’s neighborhood and I saw one of her neighbors using one of these that he’d picked up at one of the big box hardware stores. It’s the Fiskars 18 Inch StaySharp Max Reel Mower. I like it. It makes a similar quiet snipping sound to what I remember from 50 years ago. It took a couple of passes and a bit longer to cut the front yard. The thing is, this isn’t about speed and convenience. There’s more than enough of that in the world.

It's about motivations

The green actions I take are not to spare the environment. I don’t care one bit about my “carbon footprint.” I really think that’s the crux doctrine of a religion of environmentalism, something I do not subscribe to. So I use plant-based soaps as much as possible, not to spare the runoff into the wastewater, but to spare my skin. Detergents which aren’t based on petroleum products, while they’re better for our water also aren’t leaching from the fabric onto our skin. Same goes for hand soap and dish soap.

I look for ways to save electricity for the same reasons. My goal is to bankrupt the power company by not owing them anything. So I try to unplug chargers when they’re not being used. I use a rechargeable battery to charge my phone and iPod. By doing that I can charge the battery for 3-4 hours and then use it to charge the gadgets for weeks. I’m looking for other ways to power some small appliances off batteries.

The car is another situation. I am going to have to plod along as a gasoline guzzler for a while longer. My vehicle is 4 years old but it uses gas. I try to cut down on trips and group trips to save on fuel usage but my motivation is cost savings, not emissions.

So in what some might call my own twisted way, you can call me a selfish or self interested environmentalist.