Green Living Blog: More than Just a Mower

Green Living Blog: More than Just a Mower

When it comes to reuse and repair, we like to walk the talk around here. It's so easy to say you support repairing household items, and then decide that it’s 'just not worth the money' to repair each item that breaks. This summer, we decided to support our values and see the process through with our lawnmower.

When we moved out to the acreage, we had a tiny push-reel lawnmower from Lee Valley. It was the perfect energy-saving lawnmower for the 100sq ft of lawn we had in the city. And to be fair, we did actually use it the first summer we were here. The grass had already been cut when we came in July and it didn't grow a whole lot more that season.

Fast forward to this spring, and we had a lot more grass to deal with. Over the winter, we had toyed with the idea of buying a riding mower, but hadn't yet bit the bullet on that one. Do we just want a mower or maybe a larger tractor with a mower attachment? We will need to live here with the grass and the horses for another season before we really know what we need for a larger-scale piece of equipment.

The previous owners left us a non-working gas lawnmower, at our request. We were at the point of needing to mow the ever-growing grass – so what to do? We decided to take it into a small engine repair shop not too far from our house and at least find out if the cost to fix it was reasonable.

I was pleased to see that the repair shop had about 100 other mowers there to be fixed. Obviously other people were taking advantage of repair over replacement too!

However, this left a two-week wait before we would even find out if our machine was fixable.  It was definitely tempting to call it off and buy something as the grass needed to be cut ASAP.

Instead, we tried tapping into the borrow economy – and called a neighbour that we thought might have one. He did not (just the larger riding version that he wasn't keen to lend out).

What about renting? Turns out you can indeed rent a lawnmower. Kris went and rented one from Home Depot for the day. A few hours of walking back and forth, and the acreage-sized lawn was mowed, and we returned it the next day. Certainly not feasible all summer long, but it was a great option while ours was in the shop.

Two weeks later, we got a call that ours was repairable for a decent price; about half the cost of replacing it with a new one. We went ahead and had the repair done – and now we have a working mower for the rest of the season. I'm glad we had it fixed, since buying a new one would have still left us with the broken one to deal with anyways.

And now, the power head on our vacuum has died. But I figured out that it just needs a new belt. Off I go to find a replacement one and carry on with repairing each item that we can...