Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What are neighbors for. . . .?

More than two years have passed since the city of London, in Canada’s Ontario Province, passed a bylaw to outlaw lawn pesticides. Several local professional lawn care service providers vigorously defended their right to use chemical products in this city of about 350,000 people that is located midway between Detroit and Toronto. In the end they lost that battle.

Now the city says it's time to begin enforcing the ban and it looks like it will rely upon neighbors squealing upon each other. Not only will neighbors be expected to rat out neighbors,they’ll also be asked if they’re willing to testify if the matter ends up in a court, according to an article (click on the headline) in the Sept. 22 issue of the London Free Press newspaper.

If that weren’t enough, the city could even go to the lengths of testing the suspected malefactor’s lawn for evidence of pesticide use, which could cost the property owner (the squealee) several hundred dollars.

Wow, talk about putting some extra excitement into neighborhood block parties.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

NOXFOX tees up its mower emissions fix

The recently announced U.S. EPA rules to reduce emissions from small gasoline engines (under 25-hp) don't go into effect until 2011 for lawn and garden equipment, but at least one company has already stepped forward to address the problem. Mempro Ceramics Corporation, based in Akron, OH, says its "revolutionary brand of catalytic filters" destroys pollutants emitted by small gasoline engines. The brand name of the filters is NOXFOX.

We're not experts on emission controls so we'll let the following description from the company's Web site explain how NOXFOX does it:

"The NOXFOX brand incorporates patented nanotechnology in the form of ceramic fibers with diameters averaging one-thousandth the thickness of a human hair. The high-surface-area ceramic nanofibers hold nanoparticles of platinum, palladium, rhodium, and other catalysts, which are instrumental in the destruction of NOx, CO, and HC. Since the catalyzed ceramic nanofibers provide large catalytic surface area, there is maximum catalyst-exhaust contact and minimum exhaust resistance."

The company says it will have a booth at the GIE+Expo in Louisville, Oct. 23-25. If you're interested in learning more about the product, click on the headline.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Stricter emission standards will raise costs of mowers

Expect to pay 18% more for your mowers once the new U.S. EPA emission rule for mowers with gasoline-powered engines under 25-hp takes effect in 2011, predicts the California Air Resources Board. That’s in addition to inflation, of course.
The EPA announced earlier this month that all lawn and garden equipment of less than 25 hp must reduce emissions by 35% by 2011. It’s likely manufacturers will have to equip mowers and other gasoline-engine lawn equipment with catalytic converters to meet EPA’s new emission rule.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

For sale: The White House Lawn on eBay

Want to buy a piece of the White House lawn? You can on eBay. A 1'-1' parcel costs $10. You can buy larger parcels, up to and including a 10'x 10' square. That will set you back $1,000.

Not that FedEx or UPS is going to showi up at your front door with a box of sod even after you finish your transaction on PayPal. You will be buying virtual lawn and not the real stuff. But the sale will be real in the sense that you'll be paying (or donating if that sounds better) real money. After you purchase your piece of the White House lawn you will be expected to give it back to the American people to be converted to a new food garden in 2009.

The Great White House Lawn Sale is the idea Roger Doiron of an organization known as Kitchen Gardeners International (KGI). Doiron, on KGI's Web site, describes himself as “Compost-Pile-Turner-in-Chief”.

KGI is a 501c3 non-profit founded in Maine with more than 7000 gardeners in 100 countries. Its mission is to empower individuals, families and communities to achieve greater levels of food self-reliance through the promotion of kitchen gardening, home cooking and sustainable local food systems.

“A purchase of the First Lawn with proceeds going to a global gardening charity makes a unique gift. Donors/buyers will receive a weblink to a ‘certificate of ownership' that they can download and customize in a friend or loved one's name,” according to KGI's Web site.

The KGI is promoting its sale of the White House lawn in hopes of convincing the next U.S. President to remove some of the White House lawn and converting it to a food garden to promote the idea of home gardens and locally grown produce.

If you're interested in buying a virtual chunk of the White House lawn, click on the headline for the eBay listing.