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Lake Oswego Sustainability Network is hosting an online forum May 13 via Zoom.

COURTESY PHOTO - Electric lawn equipment is sold in local stores.The Lake Oswego Sustainability Network has long pushed for the city to make the switch from gas-powered to electric landscaping equipment. And the organization strongly encourages residents and homeowners to do the same.

On Thursday, May 13, community members can attend the virtual forum "Transitioning to Electric Landscaping Equipment" with speaker Dan Mabe, founder and CEO of American Green Zone Alliance, via Zoom from 6:30-8 p.m.

"Dan will discuss the air and noise pollution issues with gas powered equipment, the electric equipment that is currently available, the cost comparison between gas and electric and the return on investment," read a recent LOSN newsletter. "He will discuss what other communities with similar seasons are doing in regard to transitioning to electric. He will also talk about what we can do to help business owners transition to electric equipment."

This online forum is one in a series of discussions taking place the second Thursday of every month.

According to the California Air Resources Board, one hour of gas-powered commercial lawn mower use emits the equivalent pollution as driving about 300 miles from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in a Toyota Camry.

"I think it's important to look at this topic just because of the health aspects of gas-powered landscaping equipment," said LOSN member Kathleen Wiens. "We need to see what we could do to help with the education and anything we can do to help with the landscape workers to be able to transition to something that's healthier for them."

While the effort has been long in the works, this forum comes on the heels of the Lake Oswego City Council's decision in February to switch to electric landscape equipment for city maintenance.

According to the latest LOSN newsletter, gas-powered equipment also causes noise pollution.

"This equipment is responsible for significant noise pollution, which can lead to hearing loss and high stress levels," the newsletter read. "Operators of this equipment can be particularly affected by the noise and air pollution."COURTESY PHOTO - Lake Oswego resident Vernon Long uses his electric mower.

Wiens and her husband, Jeff Wiens, switched to electric equipment in 2015. She recently purchased a hedge trimmer and chainsaw and said she was amazed at the power they provide.

"We're just tired of dealing with the gas and the emissions and storing the gas and sometimes you'd spill the gas," Wiens said. "And obviously the fumes from it."

Wiens added that she was in Lowe's recently and was excited to see more electric options on display than gas.

"For years it was frustrating trying to start our gas lawn mower and edger. Having to mix oil and gasoline, trying to find a funnel to fill it was always a hassle," the two said in the newsletter. "The cloud of smoke and fumes made the process even more unpleasant. It was frustrating having to wipe the spilled gasoline off of our hands and ground."

Wiens said she also purchased an Ego inverter after the recent snowstorm that left Lake Oswego without power.

For those who are interested in electric landscaping but don't want to do it themselves, Wiens suggests purchasing the electric equipment for the landscapers or asking the landscaper to look into electric options.

Local stores like Ace Hardware, Home Depot and Lowe's carry electric equipment.

Wiens said there are a handful of local landscaping companies that also use electric equipment including Oswego Yard Care, Dennis' 7 Dees and Clean Air Lawn Care.

"I think for the commercial landscapers, they'll see more and more people requesting it," Wiens said. "It's just nice to see that more and more people are learning about it."

Click here to register for the forum.


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