By Bailey Toolson, Guest Blogger
DEQ invites guest bloggers to share their thoughts on issues that impact our environment. We appreciate their insights and the opportunity to broaden the conversation with others in the community.
As part of the annual Clear the Air Challenge, the Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) would like to highlight companies that are doing their part to help clear Utah’s air. First up is an inspiring lawn and landscape company from Weber County.
Los Gringos Lawn and Landscape is a family-owned business run by Jared and Jessica Bradley that has been operating since 2011. The Bradleys are longtime advocates for the environment and clean air. They strive to extend this environmentally conscious philosophy to their business.
They set the example for the lawn-care industry by driving alternative fuel vehicles, only installing water-wise irrigation systems, and planting drought-tolerant plants that will thrive in our desert climate. Los Gringos is always looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly and knowing gas lawn tools pollute more pound for pound than cars, they began looking for a better alternative.
Until recently, commercial-grade electric lawn care equipment was not available. The electric lawn tools that were available were marketed to residential customers. They were not an option for the Bradleys because these electric lawn tools could simply not withstand the long hours and amount of use required in a commercial setting.
This all changed when they found Mean Green Mowers, an Ohio company that makes commercial-grade electric lawn care tools. Making the switch from gas to electric sets Los Gringos apart from other lawn care companies and allows them to more fully support their commitment to creating a cleaner, healthier environment.
Los Gringos was awarded Air Assist funding in June 2016. Using these funds, Los Gringos was able purchase to 14 rechargeable batteries, 7 electric trimmers, 5 leaf blowers, 2 electric chainsaws and 2 electric walk-behind mowers. This change will reduce CO2 emissions by 25,000 pounds per year and VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions by 918 pounds per year!
In addition to reduced air pollution, electric mowers significantly reduce noise pollution as well. Despite the added cost up front, electric equipment will ultimately last longer and cost less to maintain. Their new electric equipment won’t require the constant maintenance and added expense of spark plugs, oil and fuel filters, pull strings, and gasoline. In the future, the Bradley’s hope to phase out the few gas mowers they still have and get solar panels for their equipment trailer in order to charge their electric equipment, truly making them zero emissions.
The Air Assist Program has received funding through June 2017, and we are looking for more small businesses to help! The application is simple and there is no deadline to apply. The application can be found on the UCAIR website.
I recently graduated with a Masters of Public Health from Westminster College. I am the Air Assist Program Manager, as well as, a new addition to the UCAIR team. Prior to joining UCAIR, I worked for nearly 4 years with the Division of Air Quality. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and camping, travel, and all things Italian.