Welcome, new WSB sponsor: West Seattle’s Clean Air Lawn Care

Spring is in sight – and that means time to green up. One of our newest sponsors, Clean Air Lawn Care, brings a new meaning to that term, and here’s what they want you to know about their business: “Do you know that 5-10% of the nation’s air pollution is attributed to small engines like the ones used in gas-powered lawn-care equipment – mowers, blowers, edgers and trimmers? Or that gas lawn mowers consume some 580 million gallons of gasoline annually, of which 25-35% escapes unburned – that’s on top of the 17 million gallons that are spilled annually by people filling up gas mowers?

Clean Air Lawn Care of West Seattle is ‘Changing the Way America Mows the Lawn’ by using only battery- and electric-operated equipment powered by renewable energy sources. The solar panels on their trucks are used to harvest the solar energy and recharge their equipment throughout the day. Adam Werner, owner of Clean Air Lawn Care, has been a Seattle resident since 1995 and a West Seattle resident in the Riverview Neighborhood since 2004. He has been involved with his Riverview Neighborhood group to help save the Sound Ways property from private development. He is also a member of the Highland Park Improvement Club and a new member of Sustainable West Seattle.

In 2008, Clean Air Lawn Care was able to reduce air pollutants by 2289 pounds or the equivalent of 70,158 vehicle miles driven. According to the EPA, in 1 hour, 1 gas mower: 1) pollutes the same as 40 late model cars, 2) emits the amount of hydrocarbons as a SUV driven 23,600 miles and 3) contributes 93 times more smog-forming emissions than 2006 cars. Another huge advantage of the electric equipment is the lack of noise – 50-70% quieter than traditional lawn equipment. So not only do you not have to smell the gas burning you don’t have to hear it either. This is great for working from home, napping children, and not disturbing your neighbors on a nice sunny afternoon. We’ve had several customers tell us that they did not even know we were at their house.

Adam and his crew are knowledgeable, professional and courteous. They provide all of West Seattle (and beyond) spring and fall cleanups, mowing, blowing, edging, trimming, weeding, mulching, hedge trimming (up to 7 ft) and other hourly work as required. Outside of the electricity generated by the solar panels, Clean Air participates in the Seattle Green Up program and all additional electricity used is purchased from a renewable energy broker. The windpower they purchase is used to power the lawn equipment and offices, qualifying the entire organization as carbon neutral.

Be sure to stop Adam, Josh, or Chelsea when you see them in your neighborhood to get a look at the truck with the solar panels. Josh would love to talk you about his photography and Chelsea would be more than happy to show you some of the jewelry she makes or even teach your kids to play the piano. Help your neighborhood become clean and quieter and help Clean Air Lawn Care “Change the Way America Mows the Lawn.” Call 206-941-4180 or e-mail adam@cleanairlawncare.com. Thanks to Clean Air Lawn Care for joining the WSB sponsor team, just in time for lawn-care season to get into full swing (remember, Daylight Saving Time starts this Saturday night)!

14 Replies to "Welcome, new WSB sponsor: West Seattle's Clean Air Lawn Care"

  • Skeptical Nulu March 5, 2009 (1:05 pm)

    Lawns are the least “green” of ground covers popular in Seattle.
    Clean Air Lawn Care has staked out a clever and commendable marketing strategy.
    I just wonder how much is “green washing” and what effect it truly has.
    Generalizing about two-stroke gas lawnmowers when many now are cleaner four-strokes can be misleading.
    And, just how much of the required charging is done by solar panels on trucks?
    Now I really must go out and put my “terrapass” bumper sticker on my car.

  • s March 5, 2009 (5:12 pm)

    Can the Lawn Care people provide an EPA web link that backs up the below statement? I find it very hard to believe.
    “According to the EPA, in 1 hour, 1 gas mower: 1) pollutes the same as 40 late model cars, 2) emits the amount of hydrocarbons as a SUV driven 23,600 miles and 3) contributes 93 times more smog-forming emissions than 2006 cars.”
    Also, what percentage of the energy that they use is from the solar panels?

  • J March 5, 2009 (5:47 pm)

    I think they should get credit for reducing noise, too!

  • Morgan March 5, 2009 (6:47 pm)

    Good question, S.

    Link on the EPA data please.

    (((((((Global Warming (err, Climate Change?) hyperbole alert)))))))


  • WSB March 5, 2009 (6:56 pm)

    I’m working on something else and don’t have time to go chasing every little thing. However for starters here’s a report on the EPA lawn mower crackdown launched last September.

    whole bucket of EPA info on these things at

  • Creighton March 5, 2009 (7:22 pm)

    Good business idea. I’d consider using them if I didn’t just buy my own electric mower. Just got tired of pulling that damn cord on the gas mower, and making trips to 7-11 to get gas. I hope they do well. Good on them.

  • Katy L March 5, 2009 (8:18 pm)

    I agree. There are no perfect solutions but a lot of people still have lawns and, until we all have xeriscaped yards (i.e. native plants requiring no extra water) and organic vegetable gardens, I think their idea is terrific. They are a model for other businesses–big and small–to think creatively about using renewable energy. They are what will get us where we ultimately need to go. Baby steps, people.

  • s March 6, 2009 (11:29 am)

    WSB-I wasn’t asking you to provide the link, I was asking the Lawn Care people. I assumed they wrote the blurb so they should have the link at hand.
    So Lawn Care people, can you provide the link to back up your claims?
    I’m all for more eco-friendly businesses but I just find their claims hard to believe. I’m against polluters but even more against people who hijack the eco-movement by making false claims to make a quick buck.

  • WSB March 6, 2009 (11:31 am)

    They furnished the copy but I can’t guarantee they’ve read this article yet – sunny day and they’re out mowing lawns. We participate in comments on our site when people request information, whether it’s about a sponsor or not. Research is one of our biggest jobs every day. So is that not the right information? Looked to me like it had some of the numbers to which they allude.

  • owen March 6, 2009 (3:58 pm)

    I spent a little time looking, and couldn’t find an EPA report that supported the 40 late model cars claim, or the 23,600 SUV miles. Perhaps my google-fu is weak, but I did find a lot of other lawn care websites that used these same statements, all referring to EPA as the source. Some sites say that the 23,600 SUV miles apply to a 1992 Ford Explorer, which gives a feel for the vintage of this information. Others reference the EPA website that WSB posted as the specific source of the statements.
    That EPA site currently talks about three phases of regulation focused on lowering emissions from small engines. The first took effect in 1997, the second in 2002, with the latest changes coming online in 2011 or 2012. My guess is that two of the three statements date from the mid-90s, and at one time were on the EPA site, but are now out-dated for mowers less than 10 years old.
    I like electric mowers (or better yet, push mowers), and this business seems like a great idea to me. But, I am no fan of hyperbolic advertising and would be interested in seeing the sources for these claims.

  • Adam - Owner Clean Air Lawn Care March 6, 2009 (5:37 pm)

    J and Skeptical Nulu thank you for bringing up some very valid points here – I think it is great to keep businesses honest in their pursuits to be eco-friendly. Some statistics are hard to believe because they are referring to the hydrocarbon pollution from 2-stroke lawn mowers (by far the most prevalent throughout the US). Because of the inefficient engine design and lack of a catalytic converter, lawn equipments spews exponentially more hydrocarbons into their air than vehicles. Although there are new standards coming out in the next few years, you have to also consider how many years the typical homeowner keeps their lawn mower. Even with new standards, we will still have plenty of old, dirty, polluting mowers out there in use every day.

    Here are some links to the stats referenced in the piece:
    – Renewable energy: Clean Air Lawn Care is powered entirely by renewable energy. The mowers are recharged overnight using wind power (RECs) and powered by the solar panels off the truck while in the field. Additionally Clean Air purchases carbon offsets to offset all emissions associated with the vehicle. The business is carbon neutral.
    – The majority of the statistics can be found in the US Department of Interior’s Green Seal Choose Green Report: http://www.greenseal.org/resources/reports/CGR=LawnCareEquip.pdf
    – The EPA’s press release on the new lawn equipment regulations further outlines stats: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/6424ac1caa800aab85257359003f5337/5ea39929f1ac1c42852574ba005c95ec!OpenDocument&Highlight=2,surf
    – The statistic regarding 2006 cars come from the California Air Quality Resources Board: http://www.arb.ca.gov

    Clean Air Lawn Care in not in the business of greenwashing. We use emissions-free electric equipment powered entirely by renewable energy. All grass clippings are either left on the lawn as mulch or recycled at composting facilities. We mow higher than most lawn care companies out there to reduce the amount of water required to keep the lawn healthy, and we help educate our customers on the best watering practices. We purchase wind power (RECs) and carbon offsets to guarantee we’re carbon neutral. We have an extensive sustainability policy for our field and office operations. All our marketing materials are printed on recycled paper using soy ink. Also, we are always working to tighten our driving routes – hence advertising on the WSB to gain more customers in our own back yard – no pun intended.

    Let us not forget – we are offering an alternative to traditional lawn care service so that homeowners have a choice. Competition is healthy and will hopefully push other companies to consider getting rid of gas powered equipment. I think we all agree the reliance on oil we have the better off we will be?? We are working with product development teams from Black and Decker and Hitachi to help them develop a better line of equipment for homeowners and businesses alike. Our goal is to try and educate as many people as we can to the ill effects of small gas powered equipment. It seems like this blog was a great start.

    At the end of the day, I think it is hard to argue that gas powered equipment is better for the environment than equipment powered by renewable energy. Thank you to everyone that has commented and to all of our customers and supporters. We could not continue to help drive change without your support.

  • BusinessOwner March 6, 2009 (6:09 pm)

    I cannot not find a license, bond or insurance with Labor and Industries for this outfit!


  • Adam - Owner Clean Air Lawn Care March 6, 2009 (7:20 pm)

    BusinessOwner – thank you for checking – I am not sure where you were looking. We are not licensed as a contractor due to the type of work we do so you would not be able to locate us using the contractor look up on L&I. We are properly licensed and insured for the lawn care industry.

    As I mentioned in my last response, please contact me if you have any questions that I can answer directly…adam@cleanairlawncare.com or 206-941-4180

    Thank you.

  • Wendy Hughes-Jelen March 9, 2009 (2:04 pm)

    I am a happy Clean Air Lawn Care customer. Actually, I speak for 96 happy households in High Point. Our condominium homeowners association hired Clean Air Lawn Care in partnership with InHarmony to manage our part of the Built Green Certified Community of High Point. I have been very happy with their service.

    They have proven knowledgeable about shrubs and trees, recommending moving around some that were planted in the wrong place by the builder’s contractor.

    We don’t allow much in the way of chemical use here so the person assigned to our property, (I think her name is Gretchen), hand-weeds our large community. I have received compliments from my neighbors for bringing in a vendor that honors our Built Green rules and cares about the community and the health of its residents.

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