On a June-gloom morning in Woodland Hills, a city under the LA County umbrella, American Green Zone Alliance Founder and CEO Dan Mabe visited a tree-shaded home south of Ventura Boulevard that featured a tennis court, fruit trees, mature hedges, and a moderate amount of grass. Dan had a special meeting with the homeowner Miles whom he had met at a fundraiser in Topanga Canyon four weeks prior.
Miles and Dan spoke about several environmental initiatives the City has instituted but which did not include air and noise pollution, worker and community exposures to toxic exhaust, and solid and toxic waste created by the pervasive use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment. Dan explained to Miles that these overlooked impacts are a very serious health hazard to workers and local air quality.
Dan cited two recent studies.
The first from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is a comprehensive new study that estimates NOx (nitrous oxides) & ROG (reactive organic gases) from lawn and garden equipment contribute so significantly to the forming of ground ozone pollution in the LA air basin that by 2020 their emissions will outpace those from passenger and light-duty vehicles.
FAIR WARNING STUDY
The second, a groundbreaking study from the non-profit investigative journalists at Fair Warning, unveiling dangerous levels of emissions and particulates from commercial gas backpack leaf blowers, with serious exposure risks to the workers who use gas powered tools every day.
Dan explained to Miles that AGZA was already certifying properties (AGZA Green Zone® Certification) and training workers (AGZA Service Provider Accreditation) to adopt and use zero-emission battery electric technology. By retiring noisy, dirty, century-old internal combustion engines and transitioning to cutting edge electric equipment, crews instantly improve their working conditions, reduce noise and local air pollution, eliminate greenhouse gasses, and improve quality of life for the communities they serve.
Miles went home and did some research, then reached out to Dan with an action plan to start making an immediate difference on his property as well as those of his neighbors. Miles suggested an equipment-sharing initiative where one set of AGZA-approved commercial electric equipment would be rotated from house to house. The benefits would be dramatic and shared by the neighborhood, slashing noise levels by 50% and totally eliminating all poisonous exhaust fumes from maintenance operations.
Dan brought an assortment of battery-powered commercial electric equipment for the crews to try. Mabe laid out the equipment, batteries, and chargers and conducted a field workshop.
- Greenworks 82V Commercial 21" Push Mower (GM 210)
- Greenworks 82V Commercial 600 CFM Axial Blower with 900Wh Battery Backpack (GL 900)
- EGO Power Plus 15" String Trimmer with Rapid Reload Head (ST1500SF)
- Husqvarna 36v 24" Hedge Trimmer (536LiHD60X)
“It’s so rewarding to get the positive reactions and smiles on the faces of the workers using the equipment for the first time,” says Mabe. “They clearly and unanimously agree that the equipment is powerful and can do the job.”
Miles and Dan agreed to conduct a robust beta trial for the tools to see if the workers can really use them to meet the demands of their workloads without compromising gas powered work production rates.
“Once we prove the concept, it can be marketed and scaled nationwide,” said Mabe. “It will be one more program under the AGZA National Green Zone Initiative which seeks to replace gas where practically possible and educate the masses on the understated impacts of running gas powered grounds maintenance equipment everyday has on workers and communities. We welcome the AGZA Green Zone Cooperative.”