Partners in Clean Air

Solar Mowing founder/owner Lyn DeWitt receives a "Valuable Partner" award from Brian O’Malley, Chair, Clean Air Partners (left), and William Ellis, Vice Chair, Clean Air Partners (right).

Solar Mowing founder/owner Lyn DeWitt receives a Most Valuable Partner award from Brian O’Malley, Clean Air Partners Chair (left), and William Ellis, Clean Air Partners Vice Chair (right).

Solar Mowing was given a Most Valuable Partner award by the organization that provides the Washington-Baltimore region with air quality forecasts and information. Clean Air Partners held the Annual Awards Celebration at the Mansion House at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Nonprofits, businesses, and students were honored at the May 11, 2016, event for their “efforts to raise awareness in our region about air quality,” says Clean Air Partners Board Chair, Brian O’Malley.

Solar Mowing’s “commitment to reducing pollution through emission-free equipment and the use of solar and wind energy is an excellent example of how the business community can make significant efforts to reduce air pollution and the impacts on climate change,” wrote Jen Desimone, Managing Director of Clean Air Partners.

Since 2009, when the business began through this 2016 season, Solar Mowing will have prevented about 80,000 pounds of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.

Not bad for a wee start-up.

I’d like to dedicate this award to my dependable team of mowers and to our many customers who want healthy lawns — and air.

We Like Green (Air Quality Code) Days

Everyday about 3:30 p.m., I get an email with the air quality code for the day and the air quality forecast for the next two days. These free daily air alerts come from Clean Air Partners, and you can sign up here to receive them, too.

I track air quality for obvious personal reasons and also for business purposes. If the air for the next day falls in the unhealthy (orange) range or worse, then we’ll limit our mowing to early hours of the day and/or mow only within a very limited driving range. Or, not mow at all.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) shown here is familiar to all of us by now. What you may not know is that it’s based on five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. It is the first two of these — ground-level ozone and particle pollution — that pose the greatest threat to human health, and monitors throughout our region measure these. (For a map showing monitor locations in our area, click here.)

You can help clear the air in multiple ways: Replace your charcoal grill with a propane gas grill, use water-based instead of oil-based paint, drive less, and of course, if you haven’t already, sign up with Solar Mowing. Free estimates for emission-free mowing, trimming, and blowing!