An old-fashioned push mower might sound kind of boring, but I was excited when my husband brought one home from an auction for only a dollar. But then, just knowing how to do things the “old school” way gives me a feeling of satisfaction. So why do I think mowing the “old school” way can be better than a self-propelled or riding mower?

1. It’s free to use. Push mowers run on human energy. In other words, the only thing spent on mowing the lawn is the energy from the person using it.

2. Push mowers don’t pollute. Using an old-fashioned hand mower doesn’t use gasoline, diesel or any other polluting fuel. And it’s not just fuel pollution that is saved; there’s no noise pollution either!

3. Maintenance is simple. With a push mower, there are no complicated wires or engines to navigate. If something needs fixing, it’s straightforward. Other than keeping the blades sharpened—if not self-sharpening—and keeping the mower out of inclement weather, there’s nothing to maintain.

4. Accidents are less likely. When using a gasoline-powered mower, you must be careful to avoid fuel spills. There are electric mowers, but even then it’s important to keep an eye on the cord to avoid an accident. There’s also no need to worry about your mower grabbing hazards, like rocks or sticks, and tossing them across the yard at high speeds.

5. Push mowers aren’t complicated. If you can push the mower, you can mow the grass. No real learning curve is involved. With electric or fuel mowers, ease of use can differ.

6. You also get a surprise workout. Using your own power to mow the lawn doesn’t really seem like working out. Instead of sitting on a riding mower or breezing through the job with a self-propelled push mower, you spend the time exerting your own energy to get the job done. There’s no need to go to the gym and work out later—you’ve already done it!

This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Spring 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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