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5 Reasons to Consider a Reel Lawn Mower

May 26, 2009

By TC Thorn

Back in the old days, a people-powered push reel lawn mower was all anyone had. Gas and electric mowers weren’t an option. But then these modern replacements came along, and soon the push mower became something of an antiquated notion.

Thanks to the environmental movement though there has been a renewed interest in people-powered mowers, and quite a few reel mowers are on the market today, many of great quality that can last with minimal maintenance for years and years. And if you’ve priced gas mowers lately, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how affordable these guys are (the top of the line models rarely go above $200, and you can buy new ones for less than $100).

I’m a reel mower owner myself, so I can speak from experience as I give you a few reasons to consider a reel mower:

5 Reasons You Might Want to Get a Reel Lawn Mower

1. Reel mowers are eco-friendly and sustainable.

Perhaps one of the main reasons people go for reel mowers is they’ve read about how horrible for the environment a gas-powered mower is. Giving off far more carbon emissions than a car (unlike with a car, you don’t have to take your lawn mower in for an annual inspection), gas mowers are environmental pollutants to the extreme.

2. Reel mowers are quiet.

In addition to being un-eco-friendly, gas mowers are also noisy and annoying to your neighbors. You’ve doubtlessly had the experience yourself: you’re outside enjoying a sunny day, maybe puttering in the garden or reading a book, and the next door neighbor fires up the lawn mower for an hour of noise making. It’s hard to relax with that going on!

A push mower doesn’t make any noise.

3. Maintenance is a snap.

Even if you’re not a green freak, you’ll appreciate how simple a reel mower is and how easy it is to maintain. There’s no fuel to be purchased, no oil to be changed, no spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters, etc. etc. etc. Every couple of years, you might need to sharpen the blades, but that’s about it!

4. Pushing a reel mower is good for you and your lawn.

Modern reel mowers are actually pretty easy to use, and I’m not sure pushing mine is much (if any) harder than pushing a heavier gas-powered mower, but knowing you’re cutting the grass by your own efforts, makes you feel pretty good.

Also, studies show that a reel mower is better for your lawn too. The blades work differently than with a gas mower (snipping, such as with scissors, instead of tearing) and are better for your grass. On golf courses, they actually use reel mowers (albeit pulled by tractors) to cut their large lawns, because they’ve found them to keep the grass healthier and better looking!

5. Reel mowers don’t get more expensive to use down the line.

When gas was up to $5 a gallon, you probably started to think twice about purchasing some just to pour into mowing your lawn. What does a lawn do, after all, except look good? As I write this gas prices are lower, but there’s no telling what the future will bring. The folks who study peak oil are pretty convinced that we’re close to an era where demand will outstrip supply. Why have all these tools in your garage that require gas to use when you can choose an eco-friendly, non-noise-polluting, human-powered alternative that will never get more expensive to use?

The author has written more about her reel mower experiences at her sustainable living blog, “Off the Urban Grid.”

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Reel Push Mowers

May 24, 2009

Walk Behind Reel Mower



Scotts 20in. Push Reel Mower, Model# 2000-20



Walk Behind Reel Mower Scotts 20in. Push Reel Mower, Model# 2000-20 16″ Bermuda Grass Reel Mower

Reel Mower with Grass Catcher


  Deluxe Push Mower

Reel Mower with Grass Catcher

Deluxe Push Mower

Not only are gas powered lawn mowers noisy, they are also expensive to maintain.  The solution is a reel push mower, that is a real reel push mower, not the cheap kind that you find at a discount store.  Quality reel push mowers are less expensive than quality gas powered mowers, they cost almost nothing to maintain and operate, and they shear the grass instead of ripping it.  Thus your lawn is healthier, you have more green in your pocket and more under your feet.  Lawn and Garden


The Ultimate Cloth Means the Ultimate in Green Cleaning

May 23, 2009

Do you have a closet full of cleaning products – a different product for every surface? Do you have a childproof lock on your cleaning supplies so your children cannot get to these dangerous products? Have you ever shuttered at the safety warnings on even so-called “safe” cleaning products? Are you tired of finding streaks on your windows and stainless steel kitchen appliances even after you’ve finished cleaning? Would you like to be a “greener” cleaner? Have you ever had a skin or respiratory reaction to cleaning products?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be interested in a new non-toxic cleaning product that lasts for years, is effective on any virtually surface, and contains absolutely no chemicals. Plus, this new miracle cleaning cloth cleans streak free, lint free, dust free, and spot free – guaranteed!

Most traditional cleaning products contain a variety of potentially harmful chemicals, most of which don’t have to be listed on the product labels. Many products contain phthalates and other chemical compounds chemicals that can harm the nerves, breathing, and reproductive organs of humans, household pets, and wildlife.

The ultimate cleaning cloth avoids these dangers. It is made from macrofiber, the next generation of microfiber. This amazing cloth makes it possible to have a clean home without using any cleaning products. That’s right, no cleaning products at all! That means no chemicals, no fragrances, no dyes, and no half-empty bottles lying around. All you need is a macrofiber cloth and water.

This miracle cleaning method-macrofiber cloth and water-works on all household surfaces, including windows, mirrors, glass, ceramic tiles, stainless steel kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, and counter tops. Plus you can use it to clean your vehicle’s body, windshield, dashboard, mirrors, and chrome trim. You can also use this ultimate cleaning method on the lexan, isinglass, plastic, or fiberglass on motorcycles, off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, boats, and other outdoor sporting equipment.

To clean your house, all you have to do is wet the cloth with plain tap water, wring it out, and wipe the surfaces. With its vacuum power, the ultimate cloth removes bugs, smoke film, tar, grease, cooking residue, dust, soap scum, bacteria, etc. etc.

If it’s not enough that this 21st century cloth cleans just about everything you can imagine without streaking and without chemicals, it’s also washable and bleachable so you can use it over and over. And it’s guaranteed for years of successful use. When you use this ultimate cleaning system – just a cloth with water – you save on the cost of cleaning products and supplies, help the environment by reducing chemical use and throwaway containers, and protect your family from toxins.

Being a green consumer isn’t just about using safer products. It’s also about buying less and using fewer products. A macrofiber cleaning cloth is a one-time purchase, totally reusable. It adds neither chemicals nor waste to the environment. Macrofiber cleaning cloths help you protect your family, your health, and the environment. What could be better?


About the Author

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies. For tips/information, click here: ultimate cloth
Visit Majon’s home-improvement directory.

Beat the Summer Heat and Conserve Energy with a Whole House Fan

May 19, 2009

I grew up in a house with a whole house fan, and no air-conditioning.  The fan was great when thesleeping baby temperature went down into the 60’s at night, it pulled cool air throughout the entire house and cooled it down quite nicely.  It even helped after those scorching hot days when the temperature only dropped to the mid 80’s at night, it kept a gentle breeze flowing throughout the house all night.  I’m sure it saved my parents hundreds of dollars even back then, and installing one in your house can save you up to 50% on your cooling bills every year or up to 90% if you eliminate conventional air conditioners all together. 

One of the great benefits of whole house fans is that they will cool your house to a lower temperature than an air conditioner will when the temperature outside at night drops lower than the temperature sleeping boythat your air conditioner is set to.  Thus, not only will it suck the hot air out of your house, but it will also suck some of the heat absorbed in the walls, floors and ceilings out of your house out too.  Then in the morning, when the temperature is the lowest, close all of the windows in order to keep the heat of the day out.  In this way you will start the day with a nice cool house that can absorb a fair amount of heat as the temperature climbs outside before the interior starts to become uncomfortable.  The more thermal mass such as masonry or plaster walls, concrete, hardwood and/or tile floors that a house has, the more heat it can absorb during the day and be exhausted by the fan at night.

The two possible downsides to a whole house fan are the noise of the fan and tsleeping girlhe introduction of allergens into the house.  The fan we had growing up provided a constant hum that just became a nice background noise and actually helped to put me to sleep.  Many of the fans available today are quieter than those made in the past, and many of them have a low speed setting so that they operate even more quietly.  With respect to allergens, if someone in the house has a problem with seasonal summertime allergies then you probably shouldn’t consider a whole house fan.

Two precautions that you should take are to and to seal all of the holes and cracks between the house and the attic and to make sure that you have adequate ventilation form your attic to the outside.  There should be about one square foot of clear vent space to the outside from the attic for every 750 cfm of fan volume.  If these precautions are not taken the fan will push hot dusty air right back in to your house.

Conserve energy and enjoy natural cool night breezes this summer.  Turn off your air conditioner, and save hundreds of dollars by cooling your house with a whole house fan.


Dan Bossenbroek

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House Plants That Clean The Air:

May 18, 2009
____$34.99____ Mother-in-law's Tongue  ____$28.59____ 

Exotic Angel Plants 45Lep010063-01 Dracaena Combo in 4.5 Le


Chinese Evergreen -

Mother-in-law’s Tongue Exotic Angel Plants 45Lep010063-01 Dracaena Combo in 4.5 Le Chinese Evergreen –
____$28.59____Engelmann Direct 45LEP010296-01 Exotic Angel Plants - Pothos Golden in 4.5 LE   


Philodendron Plant

Engelmann Direct 45LEP010296-01 Exotic Angel Plants – Pothos Golden in 4.5 LE Philodendron Plant 

If you would like to improve your indoor air quality the natural way there are some house plants that will do a much better job than others.  Some of these plants do a great better job at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, while others help to remove harmful elements such as trichloroethylene, benzene, formaldehyde and other volitile organic compounds (VOC’s).  Some of the best plants for this are:  English Ivy, Spider plant, Devil’s ivy, Peace lily, Chinese evergreen, Bamboo palm or reed palm, Snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, Heartleaf philodendron, Selloum philodendron, Elephant ear philodendron, Red-edged dracaena, Cornstalk dracaena, Janet Craig dracaena, Warneck dracaena, Weeping Fig, Gerbera Daisy or Barberton daisy, Pot Mum or Florist’s Chrysanthemum, and Rubber Plant.   

Indoor Air Quality – 10 Ways to Control Contaminants at Their Source

May 14, 2009

We spend most of our lives indoors, and the majority of that indoor time in our homes.  The concern for energy conservation has lead to houses that do a much better job at keeping the cold outside air out.  This has done wonders for the energy efficiency of our homes, but has lead to one unfortunate consequence: poor indoor air quality.  In old leaky homes, any contaminants inside the house would typically be blown right back out of the house, but in newer homes they can easily become trapped inside.


Some of these contaminants can lead to increased short term allergic type reactions and symptoms like irritated eyes, nose and throat, dizziness and fatigue.  These short term reactions are typically not serious health concerns, but some indoor air contaminants have been linked to long term and serious conditions such as respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer.  It is difficult to pinpoint what level of exposure to these contaminants is potentially dangerous, and it also seems to vary from person to person.  However, whether you suffer from short term reactions or are concerned about the potential dangers of long term exposure here are ten ways to control indoor air contaminants at their source:shoes

  1. Leave your shoes at the door:  The soles of your shoes can track numerous types of contaminants into your house like tar, dirt, feces, sticks, leaves, road salt, oil, and numerous types of chemicals found on our streets, sidewalks, parking lots and driveways.
  2. Chemical free cleaning:  Eliminate potentially harmful chemicals from your house and improve the indoor air quality by switching to natural, organic cleaners and/or cleaning cloths made of mirafibers which only require water to clean just about anything.  These incredible cleaning cloths will also help you save on paper towels too.
  3. Purchase formaldehyde free and low VOC (volatile organic compound) products:  Many building products have traditionally been made with chemicals that have been shown to produce negative effects in some people.  These include fiberglass batt insulation, engineered wood products like plywood and particle board, paints, adhesives, varnishes, polyurethane, and carpeting.smoke
  4. Quit smoking or smoke outside:  Second hand smoke is a proven carcinogen, not to mention the foul odor that it leaves behind.
  5. Provide adequate exhaust for combustion sources:  Stoves, ovens, furnaces, fireplaces and kerosene heaters that are improperly vented can introduce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide gas into your house.  Carbon monoxide is poisonous, and especially dangerous since it is colorless and odorless.
  6. Contain the mess or take it outside:  Many hobbies and home improvement activities like soldering, gluing, woodworking, sawing, furniture refinishing and sanding can create a huge mess and that mess can quickly spread throughout your house.  Several ways to minimize this are to turn off your furnace while you are working, clean up as soon as you are finished, install an automatic vacuum system in your wood shop, or simply do the project outside.ants
  7. Keep the pests under control:  A clean house that is well sealed to the elements will also keep pests like ants, cockroaches, mice, and other vermin from coming into your house, bringing various contaminants along with them.  Properly storing dry goods in sealed containers will also help to keep the pests away.
  8. Moisture control and mold prevention:  Mold will thrive in warm, moist environments wherever there is a “food” source like paper, wood, or other organic material.  Keep a watchful eye out for any water leaks indoors and out, and fix any problems immediately.
  9. Weatherize your home:  Sealing all of the cracks and holes on the outside of your house will also keep many pollutants from ever coming into your house.
  10. Keep the beach and the pool outside:  The chlorine laden pool water in your suits and towels should stay outside along with the sand form the beach.  Line dry your suits and towels outside and then toss them in the washer as soon as possible.

The first step to improving the quality of the air in your house is to stop the contaminants at their source.  Following these ten steps will help you keep the inside of your house cleaner, limit your exposure to potentially harmful substances and can even improve your health.  Keep these pollutants under control and breathe easy.

Dan Bossenbroek

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Product of the Week:

May 10, 2009

maze Home Energy Audits:

There are hundreds if not thousands of products and strategies that you can purchase and employ to make your home more energy efficient and eco-friendly.  The problem is to decide where you should start first.  Furthermore, many products claim that they can save you hundreds of dollars a year, but how much will they really save you?   How long will it take for your investment in energy conservation products pay for themselves?  A Home Energy Audit is one of the best steps that you can take to plan your journey to a help to determine where and how you spend money on energy and how much each product or strategy will save you.  How much more comfortable will you be once those leaky windows are properly weatherized?  How much is it costing you to not have your attic properly insulated?  How much will you save by switching the bulbs in your porch lamps from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents or even LED’s? Where should you turn for a Home Energy Audit?

Online and Do-It-Yourself Audits:

There are numerous free do-it-yourself and online audits available, but they can only return the most basic analysis of your home’s energy consumption and only generic suggestions as to which actions you should take first.  Furthermore, any results indicating how much you will save are typically based on average conditions not on the specific conditions of your house. 

Professional Energy Audits:

There are also many professionals that you can hire to come to you house, some with specialized equipment in order to give a very detailed analysis of the energy usages of your house.  These detailed analyses come with a significant cost of $300 to $500.

The Best of Both:

A third option is a collaborative process between you and a professional.  For a much more reasonable cost of $100 you can receive a do-it-yourself Home Energy Audit Form for you to fill out in the privacy of your home on your own time.  Once you have filled out the form and returned it with your photographs to us, we will:

  1. Contact you, verifying receipt of information.
  2. Review all of your information and contact you if any clarification is needed.
  3.  Use proprietary tools to analyze the information and develop a plan to best meet your budget and energy saving goals.
  4. Send you a detailed plan listing the steps and products needed to meet your goals.  The plan will include a breakdown of your expected savings and estimated pay back period.
  5. We will also suggest several additional products and/or strategies will help you save even more energy and money.
  6. Assist you in implementing the plan that we have proposed.


Through this process, we will assess the energy efficiency of your house and lifestyle, learn how and where you are spending money on energy, and develop a plan to implement the most cost effective energy saving strategies.  Once these strategies are implemented you will begin to save energy and significantly reduce your utility bills.  Furthermore, your house will be more comfortable to live in.  After the initial savings are realized, we can take that savings and invest it in further energy saving products, and eventually, ideally reduce your energy bills to nothing.

 Check it out at: