City Councilman Michael Cacciotti brought a rather large prop to the South Pasadena Unified School District Governing Board meeting this week: a lawn mower.
Cacciotti represents the San Gabriel Valley on the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which includes some 2 million people. He would like to see the school district switch to cordless, electric lawnmowers. Superintendent Joel Shapiro said he would look into the matter.
Because lawn mowers are not held accountable to the stringent emissions regulations that motor-powered vehicles are, lawn mowers contribute to a large portion of pollution in the Los Angeles basin, Cacciotti said. He suggested to the board that using the more earth-friendly lawn maintenance equipment will lead to improved health of students, teachers, and anyone who lives near SPUSD properties, which are currently mowed with gas-powered machines.
Dan Mabe, owner and president of Woodland-Hills based Greenstation, who pointed out he liked seeing someone drive up to the board meeting in a Nissan Leaf, said the equipment that his company is developing rivals the battery chemistries in the battery management systems you see in today's electric cars.
In a You Tube video about Greenstation, a Santa Monica smog technician tested the Snapper gas mower head against the 2003 Lincoln Navigator. The SUV had a hydrocarbon reading of 85, while the gas-powered mower showed a reading of 1,269.
As for the city, Cacciotti said offcials decided to start their greener landscaping at Garfield Park. That means no pesticide or insecticide and no gas and no oil. It's going to be an " organic, pollution-free zone,'' Cacciotti said. And he would like to see the same kind of zones on school district property.
Patch Asks: What kind of lawn mower do you use?