A GROWING CONCERN: End your Christmas shopping with eco-responsible tools

SO, CAN YOU believe it? Christmas is almost here!

This Saturday, Kris Kringle and his hard-working reindeer should land on your roof, leaving “good news”.

As gardeners, I know you’ve all been good, so lumps of coal aren’t on the list for your stockings.

I also saw the other day in the Peninsula Daily News’ Peninsula poll, that many of you had not yet finished your Christmas shopping – me included!

Since I pledged last year to deliver eco-friendly articles and tips, let me end this year by keeping that promise.

As gardeners, many of us own power-hungry electrical equipment that ranges from lawn mowers to hedge trimmers, blowers and chainsaws.

These oil-mixed power tools are the worst due to the pollution emitted from the fuel mixture – the worst.

Well, thanks in no small part to the great advancements in lithium batteries, we now have both power and longevity literally at our fingertips.

So let me tell you about a few items that will be treasured by one of your horticultural friends.

First off, my absolute favorite tool and the best Christmas present I have ever received, the Stihl GTA26 battery, the hand pruners given to me by my favorite customers – thanks again Karen and Lee.

This unit completely eliminates the need for a chopper and most chainsaw work with its 4 inch cutting capacity and extreme ease of use.

It also frees up a hand so you can keep whatever you cut, making the job even easier and more environmentally friendly.

It’s also wonderfully balanced, so easy to use and operate, and is both right-handed and left-handed as an added bonus.

Its only downside is the battery life during heavy use of the tool, which I corrected by purchasing an additional dual battery, which keeps it running all day. Did I mention – the best gift ever?

Stihl also makes a wonderful HSA battery powered hand mower that runs on the same battery, and its small size and light weight make it ideal, especially for the elderly or those who have issues with grip and arm strength.

Again, this tool eliminates both ugly oil-mix mowers and the tangling issues associated with extension cords, if that’s what you have.

Next are the eco-friendly chainsaws, and again, new battery technology has finally made them interesting.

Not only that, but with a battery powered chainsaw, you no longer need to swear words when you pull and pull just to try and get it started. I think we can all understand each other.

The obnoxious, loud, offensive noise is gone as well, along with the smell of that mixed fuel engine and all that horrible blue-gray smoke as well. Santa and the reindeer will love this.

Two other great ways to get rid of pollution and noise are to replace your blower and weed burner with new, heavy-duty, battery-powered models.

The best tool I bought for myself was a very powerful 20 volt, long lasting leaf blower.

It also weighs less than its gasoline cousin and is still much quieter.

I don’t go to any job site without it and use it constantly when working on aisles or aisles for instant cleaning as I travel.

Then to finish, my mate Jackson loves his American made Stihl weed killer because of its ease of use, no electrical cords, low noise and no smell.

His battery also swaps with his battery-powered chainsaw – what’s not to love about that?

So everyone, Merry Christmas, and why not think about giving your gardening friends, Mother Earth or even yourself a great end of year gift and upgrading your tools to tools. battery powered while completing this shopping list.

And please, this holiday season… be well all of you!

Andrew May is a freelance writer and ornamental horticulturalist who dreams of having Clallam and Jefferson counties nationally recognized as “Flower Peninsula USA”. Send him questions c / o Peninsula Daily News, PO Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362, or email [email protected] (object: Andrew May).

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