Cut Pollution: Mow Electric

The popular State of Utah Lawn Mower Exchange is back!

By Courtney Ehrlich

Right now, there is a half-melted snowman in the front yard and the clouds relentlessly dumping more snow in the mountains. Imagine, though, in just a few months the warmth of the sun on your skin, the sound of kids laughing in the yard, the smell of fresh cut grass—how dreamy!

But wait, what is that you smell? Gasoline?

Neither you nor your neighbors want to smell or listen to that annoying gas-powered lawn mower again this year. The Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has a way to make the optimal summer in your mind a reality. Exchange that old gas mower for a new ELECTRIC lawn mower.

The DAQ, in partnership with Weber State University, Utah Valley University, Weber-Morgan Health Department, Davis County Health Department, Salt Lake County Health Department, and Utah County Health Department are hosting the 2019 State of Utah Lawn Mower Exchange to promote cleaner air and healthier lives.

This year’s Lawn Mower Exchange Program has 1,259 electric lawn mowers and 972 electric lawn trimmers available. Residents who live in Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, and Utah counties are eligible for a $99 electric lawn mower (a $299 retail price) or $49 electric trimmer when they trade in a gas-powered equivalent!

Electric lawn mowers are an environmentally friendly alternative to gas-powered mowers. Did you know running a gas-powered lawn mower for one hour is equal to driving a car 196 miles? In addition, electric mowers are conducive to healthier lives for all of us. They don’t expose users to harmful gasoline fumes when refueling and operating equipment. And, unlike gas mowers, electric alternatives don’t emit pollutants that contribute to the formation of summer ozone. Ozone is formed volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) react in sunlight. Gas mowers contribute to ozone formation as they emit NOx. Ozone cannot be seen nor smelled, but the effects of breathing it have been described as a sunburn in the lungs.

Visit lawnmower.utah.gov between March 5-15, 2019 to sign-up for your chance to purchase an electric lawn mower or trimmer at a deep discount. Random selection will follow and those randomly selected will be contacted by email. The event will take place across three locations in Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah counties on Saturday morning, April 27, 2019.

An option to waive the cost of the mower or trimmer is available to those who can demonstrate financial need. To qualify for the fee waiver, applicants must prove participation in an assistance program such as WIC, SNAP, free school lunch, Medicaid, or another assistance program when entering to be randomly selected.

This exchange program is funded by DAQ’s Environmental Mitigation Fund, Clean Air Fund, and Clean Air Retrofit, Replacement, and Off-Road Technology (CARROT) Program, Weber State University, Davis County Health Department, Weber-Morgan Health Department, Rocky Mountain Power, and Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR).

DAQ’s Clean Air Fund is made up of voluntary contributions from taxpayers like you. If you’d like to see spring and fall exchanges continue for years to come, consider a donation on your income tax forms.

Sign up for your chance to participate in this year’s exchange at lawnmower.utah.gov.

Some may say I’m a Utah-transplant. I am originally from the Midwest where I grew up in a self-sustaining family with strong environmental values. Since then, I have found myself all over the map understanding how people around the world develop and sustain relationships with our planet. I have spent the last few years diving into cultures in 24 countries and living in 4 of them. Before moving to Utah in 2018, I became a graduate of the University of Dundee in Scotland where I completed a postgraduate program in Sustainability and Climate Change. These days, though, you’ll find me on skis, a mountain bike, or in a tent somewhere in the mountains.

To purchase a discounted lawn mower or trimmer, participants must agree to and meet the following criteria:

  •  Must be 18 years old to qualify
  • Must agree to the terms and conditions as part of the registration process
  • Must be a Utah resident and live within an ozone non-attainment area (Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah counties)
  • A non-attainment area is designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when that area persistently exceeds the National Ambient Air Quality Standards
  • Only one electric lawn mower or trimmer per household may be purchased at a reduced price at this event
  • Must exchange an operable gasoline-powered lawn mower or trimmer
  • Only dry (oil and gas removed) lawn mowers and trimmers will be accepted as waste at this event. No other waste will be allowed
  • The randomly selected participants must present a current government-issued picture identification at the event in order to receive the purchased electric lawn mower or electric lawn trimmer
  • Government-qualified low-income participants who exchange equipment may receive financial assistance to pay the reduced price of an electric lawn mower and/or electric trimmer
  • Must be pre-registered and pre-paid using the online registration and payment portal
  • Only online payments will be accepted for payment. No cash or checks will be accepted
  • Must be present at the event in order to receive the purchased electric lawn mower or trimmer at the discounted price
  • Neither DEQ nor Lowe’s will refund the purchase of any electric lawn mower or trimmer purchased at the event. The purchaser is responsible for registering the lawn mower and/or trimmer for a 5-year warranty included with purchase

We hope to see you there!