Give the Gift of a Greener Yard!

December 9, 2020

Stuck on what to get your loved ones for holiday gifts? How about gifts to “green up” their yard care?

Did you know in the United States more gas is spilled on the ground each year refilling yard equipment than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez? And that using gas powered machines means you are breathing in harmful emissions right beside you?

We’ve got some great ideas to green up your lawn equipment!


  • Give the gift of electric equipment! Recycle your gas equipment and buy electric yard equipment! Whether it is an electric mower, leaf blower, string trimmer, or even a snow blower, there are tons of great options on the market these days! Always choose equipment with a cord instead of battery, if your yard isn’t big–they will save money upfront, and never run out of charge!
  • A “mulching kit” for the lawn mower–mulching kits make it easier for your mower to chop up grass leaves into tiny pieces, and finely dice grass so the clippings biodegrade faster.
  • If you can’t afford to upgrade to an electric machine, purchase a new gas can that doesn’t drip! (recycle that old one at hazmat at our transfer station).
  • Make coupons for a few lawn mower blade sharpenings–blades should be sharpened after about 10-12 hours of use and sharpeners are often at farmers markets throughout the season.
  • Purchase a tune-up for equipment that is leaking–winter is a great time to give your business to small repair shops.

Looking for more creative gift ideas for the yard care addict in your house?


  • Give the gift of lawn aeration and overseeding! While best done by a professional in the fall, spring is a good time to get a jump on improving a lawn. Call a professional and ask for a quote–sometimes based on the square footage of your yard and photos they can get you an estimate. You can even buy bags of grass seed right now, and do a dormant winter grass seeding.
  • Give the gift of trees! Did you know that between November and March is the best time to plant most trees locally? Stop by a nursery and see what they might have heeled in or ready to dig and arrange for them to plant it–be sure it comes with a big bow!
  • Give the gift of a rainbarrel! And make a fun afternoon of it getting it hooked up in the spring.
  • Give the gift of a gift certificate to a nursery, so when spring planting season comes along, they can go stock up on pollinator plants!

And when all else fails…who doesn’t love a houseplant? Your local nurseries carry them year-round to freshen up your indoor air! 

3 comments on "Give the Gift of a Greener Yard!"

  1. Eric Wenger says:

    What are the environmental impacts of mining lithium?
    “In addition, toxic chemicals are needed to process lithium. “The release of such chemicals through leaching, spills or air emissions can harm communities, ecosystems and food production. “Moreover, lithium extraction inevitably harms the soil and also causes air contamination.”Oct 14, 2019

    Spilling gas is not good and we need to be better at managing those resources. However, the Exxon Valdez didn’t spill any gasoline, so that is a favorable comparison, more than zero could be a very small amount of gas.
    The Exxon Valdez did however, spill 11 million gallons of crude oil into the Prince William Sound. Not good either.

    Mining for the rare earth minerals needed for batteries is an extremely dirty process that causes long-term harm to the environment. That is a fact. And the increase in demand for battery power will only increase that very serious type of environmental damage.
    But perhaps, if the damage is somewhere else, in some other country, it doesn’t matter, it is someone else’s problem?
    I certainly hope that is not the sentiment, but it feels that way based on the push for dirty electric over gasoline.

    We definitely have a long way to go in improving our energy resources, but rare earth batteries are a short-term, dirty solution.

    1. Mary Travaglini says:

      Eric, thank you for commenting. We used the Exxon Valdez as a volume comparison of petroleum products, we realize the pollutants are not exactly the same. Even in this article, we encourage the use of corded equipment, which can stretch for hundreds of feet–no battery needed, costs less to purchase upfront, better for the planet, and lasts longer! Small yard gas equipment emissions are higher than cars by hour used, and extremely unhealthy for the user who is directly breathing them in. We have many programs and education about clean sources of electric energy, like solar, and hope to find every way possible for folks to be safe and more energy efficient in their yard care, from leaving leaves, to planting trees, installing rain gardens and pollinator gardens, and more. It’s about the collective effort, and these are just some of the ways to green up those efforts.

      1. Eric Wenger says:

        Thanks Mary,
        As usual, you are “spot on”. Together we can make a difference.
        Wishing you all the best this Holiday season, and beyond.

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