This fall we noticed lots of our neighbours with large boxes in their driveways. We knew exactly what was inside of them...snow blowers. I have to admit I just don't get the need for one unless you have a massive driveway (so not in a sub division) or if you have back problems or if age is an issue. Hello, we are Canadian...shoveling snow is what we do. If it was an Olympic event Canada would be getting a gold medal.
There is an environmental impact to using a snow blower. They use gas and there are emissions from them. Studies from the EPA suggest that snow blowers emit 1 pound of carbon monoxide per hour which is similar to driving the average car 70 miles. There is also the noise pollution (why oh why do people snow blow at 1AM???). It is part of the reason we will never own one as long as we live in this house. Even though we have the longest stretch of sidewalk in our neighbourhood and a large driveway.
So then why do we have a gas lawn mower? Shouldn't the same principles apply to cutting grass and snow removal? They should but it is really rare to see someone with a manual lawn mower. For us it is because we have significantly more grass to mow than we have area that requires shoveling. If we had a smaller yard a manual mower would have been an option.
If you do have a snow blower here are some ways to reduce their impact
* Keep them properly maintained.
* Inspect prior to each use to ensure the auger is clear of debris (do this with the unit OFF).
* Refuel in an area where you can contain any spills. Always use a funnel.
* Think about when you need to use it. Is it really required when there is only 1cm of snow on the ground?
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