News Archive

May 16, 2017

Lawnmower exchange, transportation challenge offer chances to boost air quality

Events aim to empower residents to reduce pollution that fuels climate change, poor air quality

Boulder County, Colo. – Boulder County Public Health and the Regional Air Quality Council invite the public to help improve air quality and mitigate the impact of climate change by exchanging gas-powered lawn mowers and using alternate modes of transportation when ground-level air quality is often at its worst.

On June 3, the public is invited to exchange their gas-powered lawnmowers and receive a discount of up to $200 on new electric models during the Mow Down Pollution event. Electric lawnmowers will also be available for participants who are not exchanging gas-powered models.

Gas-powered lawnmowers and gardening equipment contribute to nearly 10 percent of emissions that contribute to poor air quality in the Denver metro region. These emissions are created by chemical reactions in the presence of sunlight and form ground-level ozone, which contributes to respiratory health and environmental problems. Everyday activities like mowing lawns, driving, painting, fueling vehicles, and using solvents trigger these chemical reactions.

“Using an electric lawn mower and other gardening tools can go a long way in helping to protect what makes our region such a great place to call home,” said Boulder County Public Health Environmental Health Specialist Gabi Hoefler. “Exchanging a gas-powered lawnmower is one of the many adjustments we can make in our lives and communities to get involved in improving air quality and addressing climate change.”

For every electric lawn mower used instead of a gas-powered one, approximately 49 pounds of ozone-generating emissions and 101 pounds of carbon monoxide are prevented from entering the air, according to the Regional Air Quality Council.

For more details on the lawnmower exchange and to register for the event, visit MowDownPollution.org.


Exchanging a gas-powered lawn mower is just one of many ways to get involved in reducing emissions that impact public health and the environment.

Participating in the 2017 Clean Air Challenge is another personal step people can take to have a positive impact on the environment. The challenge is to use alternative modes of transportation during the highest ozone months of the year. Vehicular travel is the second largest contributor to ozone-generating emissions on the Front Range.

As part of the challenge, individuals who leave their cars at home for one or more days per week during the high ozone months of July and August are eligible to win $100 REI gift cards and a $500 grand prize gift card to the winner’s choice of REI, the Apple Store, or Amazon.com. Prizes will also be awarded simply for participating.

In 2016, Clean Air Challenge participants who carpooled or used public transit, bicycles, or other modes of transportation collectively reduced the number of miles driven by 66,400. That adds up to 2,530 gallons of gasoline, 290 pounds of ozone emissions, and 32 tons of carbon dioxide.

To participate in this year’s challenge, visit BoulderCountyAir.org and look for the registration link on the Clean Air Challenge page. Participants must register by July 1. Visit BoulderCounty.org/transportation for details on transit and trail options.