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					Environmentally-Friendly
       Lawn Care

 The Johnson County Master
    Gardener Connection
Environmentally-Friendly Lawn Care
Who we are
 – Johnson County Environmental Department
   (JCED)

 – Kansas Small Business Environmental
   Assistance Program
    K-State program
    Office here at Extension
    Provide environmental assistance to small
    business – free, confidential, non-regulatory


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   Low emission lawn care?
Why - environmental impact
– Ozone
– Health impacts

A conventional lawn mower pollutes as much in an
  hour as 40 late model cars.




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    Some pollution facts

Gas-powered tools contribute 5% of the
U.S. air pollution.
Lawn and garden equipment users spill 17
million gallons of fuel (more than Exxon’s
Valdez in the Gulf of Alaska) each year
when refilling outdoor power equipment.




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           Program overview
    Introductions and program overview

    Defining the air quality problem
–     what is ozone
–     what are the health issues
–     how does this relate to lawn care and our program?

    Opportunities to address the problem
–     low-emission equipment selection and maintenance
–     low-maintenance turf options
–     rain gardens


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       Program overview
Why is this important to master
gardeners?
– Common questions – expert advice
– Personal and community health




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 How do we measure air
    pollution levels?

An air quality monitor is an instrument that
takes a sample of air and measures the
amount of an air pollutant such as ozone or
particulate matter in the air.

All air monitors in the national network
have to meet the same strict quality
control standards so that data from all
sites across the country is accurate and
comparable.     Low Emission Lawn Care
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   Air Pollutants of Local
           Concern
Ground Level Ozone (O3)

Particulate Matter
•PM 2.5
•PM 10


Carbon Monoxide (CO)

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Typical Air Monitoring Site
          Layout




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KC Air Monitoring Network




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 Health Effects of
 Exposure to Ozone

       Asthma
is the fastest growing
    childhood disease
  in the United States

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           What is Ozone?
  Ozone, or smog, is an odorless, colorless gas
  composed of three oxygen atoms.


• Ozone occurs naturally about 10 to 30 miles
  above the earth and protects us from the sun’s
  harmful ultraviolet rays.


• However, at ground-level in the air we
  breathe, ozone poses serious risks to human
  health.
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        Where Does Ozone
          Come From?
 Ozone is not emitted directly into the air
 but is created by a chemical reaction in the
 air:
              +               = O3
   VOC + NOx + Heat + Sunlight = Ozone

• Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Nitrogen
  Oxides (NOx) come from cars, trucks, buses,
  power plants, industrial facilities, citizen
  activities and other sources.

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             Ozone
Is a Seasonal Pollutant

Highest pollution levels in summer
– (May-September)

Hot, sunny afternoons & evenings
typically have the highest ozone
concentrations
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   What is Ozone Pollution?
Every day, the average adult breathes over 3,000
gallons of air, and children breathe even more air
per pound of body weight.

Ozone pollution has many effects on public health.
Some of these are very serious.

In the air we breathe, ozone poses serious risks to
human health.

Environmental repercussions - Ozone also
adversely affects domestic and native plants and
animals.
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      Why is Ozone Bad to
           Breathe?
  Ozone can irritate lung and airways, and
  cause inflammation much like a sunburn
  on your lungs.

• Ozone can aggravate respiratory illnesses
  such as asthma.

• 10 to 20 % of all summertime respiratory-
  related hospital visits in the US are
  associated with ozone pollution.
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         Health Effects of
         Exposure to Ozone
  Coughing
• Nose and throat irritation
• Chest pain
• Reduced lung function
• Increased susceptibility to respiratory illnesses
• Aggravation of asthma
• Children and people with chronic lung
  diseases are particularly at risk
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             Ozone Pollution
• WHERE IS IT COMING FROM?

• Possible sources
     Kansas City citizens and businesses create our
     own urban air pollution.

    Ozone precursor compounds are transported to
    the Kansas City urban area from Mexico, Texas,
    Arkansas, & Oklahoma by our south winds.

    Combination of the above scenarios


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      What Makes a Bad Air Day
    (Ozone) in South Central Kansas?
 Hot temperatures…
         +
   Sunny skies… =               unhealthy ozone levels
         +
  South winds???
 Johnson County Environmental
    Department and Kansas
   Department of Health and
Environment (KDHE) are working
     together to determine:
     –What local sources are
     significant contributors
   –The impact of weather and
   transport from other upwind
      urban/industrial areas Emission Lawn Care
                           Low
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8-hour Ozone Levels in KC




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What is Particulate Matter?
Airborne “particulate matter” consists of many
different substances suspended in the air in the
form of particles (solid and liquid droplets) that
vary widely in size.




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    What are Fine Particles?
  Fine particles are            Cross section of a human hair
                                    (magnified to 60 mm)
  only a fraction of
                       Coarse Particles              Fine Particles
  the size of a            (10 mm)                      (2.5 mm)
  human hair.

• Fine particles come from a variety of sources
  such as diesel trucks and buses, construction
  equipment, power plants, woodstoves, and
  wildfires.

• Fine particles can also be formed in the
  atmosphere when gases are transformed by
                   Low in the air.
  chemical reactions Emission Lawn Care
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        Why are Fine Particles
          Bad to Breathe?
  Scientific studies have linked fine particles,
  with a series of significant health problems,
  because they easily reach the deepest parts
  of the lungs.
• In the US, particulate matter, especially fine
  particles, is responsible for 15,000 premature
  deaths every year.

• Diesel exhaust, a significant source of fine
  particles, can cause lung cancer.
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   Health Effects of Exposure
        to Fine Particles
  Premature death
• Respiratory related hospital admissions and
  emergency room visits for cardiac and other
  conditions
• Aggravated asthma
• Acute respiratory symptoms
• Chronic bronchitis
• Decreased lung function (shortness of breath)
• People with existing heart and lung disease, as
  well as the elderly and children, are
  particularly at risk Low Emission Lawn Care
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          What Can You Do?
 Avoid strenuous outdoor activities when ozone
  levels are high

 Share a ride or take public transportation


 Cut your grass after 6 pm


 Refuel your car after 6 pm (fuel when it’s cool)


 Combine your errands into one trip


 Purchase low-emitting and fuelCare
                      Low Emission Lawn
                                        efficient
  vehicles (www.epa.gov/autoemissions)
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Why lawn and garden?




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Lawn and garden is the largest non-road
  mobile category contributing VOCs




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Kansas non-road mobile source
    emissions (2002 NEI)




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Kansas commercial lawn and garden
      emissions (2002 NEI)




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Kansas residential lawn and
garden emissions (2002 NEI)




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Where To Check On Local Air Quality?
 JCED “SkyCast” Air Quality Data on the
 Web at:
 http://www.sharetheair.com/outdoor/sky_index.htm


 Information on Air Quality on the Web
 at:
 http://www.marc.org/airq/current-skycast.php
 Provides helpful information on air quality issues,
 increases awareness, and provides education to citizens
 and businesses about air pollution and how they can
 help.                 Low Emission Lawn Care
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  Addressing the problem
Prevention is best
If you use a gas mower, keep it tuned
and wait until evening to mow your lawn
Low-maintenance turf option
– Existing master gardener publications
Keep your mower engine tuned and well-
maintained
Consider purchasing an electric mower,
or push mower if your lawn is small
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  Addressing the problem

Wait until evening to fill your mower
with gas
Avoid spills, don't "top off" your
tank, and tighten your gas cap
Use “No Spill” gas cans
Clean mowers with plain water

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    Reduce emissions through
         maintenance
Tune up your lawn
mower once a year. This
simple-to-do task takes
30 minutes or less and
cuts your mower's
emissions by up to 50
percent and fuel
consumption up to 30
percent.
(www.mowertuneup.com)


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Equipment maintenance - engines
Engine oil and filter
 – Longer life
 – 25-50 hours or annually
Spark plugs
 – Better starting – annually

Air filters – clean or replace
 – Improves fuel efficiency
 – Improves performance – HP
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   Equipment maintenance
     Mowers
Blades – correctly
sharpen
– Better looking lawn
  (cut grass versus
  torn grass)
– Requires less fuel -
  saves fuel
– Stays sharp longer –
  1/64th rule

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    Equipment maintenance
Disposal of used oil
– Jiffy Lubes
– Wal-Mart
– Household Hazardous Waste
Oil, solvents, bad gas, and other chemicals
– JCED Household Hazardous Waste facility. Call
  913-715-6900 to schedule an appointment. The
  facility is located off I-35 and Lamar inside the
  Nelson wastewater treatment plant. There is a
  fee for SQGs.

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JCED household hazardous waste
           facility




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JCED household hazardous waste
           facility




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JCED household hazardous waste
           facility




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       Equipment evolution
New manufacturers
standards
– EPA
– California
Electric equipment –
mowers and
handheld
– Issues with batteries
– Readily available

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          No-spill gas cans
Stats
 – 75% reduction in VOCs
 – 17 million gallons spilt
   annually with
   conventional cans
Manufactured by Blish-
Mize, Atchison, Kansas
Where to get or order them
 – McCray Lumber (OP)
 – Hartman (Shawnee
   Mission)

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Low-maintenance lawn care
         options
Reduce need to mow
   Rain Gardens
   Native planting
Low-maintenance turf options
– Chapter 8 Master Gardener manual




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            Rain Gardens

Use native prairie plants that absorb
rain through deep roots
    Absorb water from deep roots
    Use water from roofs and roads
    Mosquito death traps (need 48 hrs to hatch)
    Drought-resistant and low-maintenance




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              Rain Gardens
Rain Garden 4 P’s: Plan, Prep, Plant, Play
 Plan the location
      Keep it at least 10 ft from house
      Direct downspouts into it
      Clay soil may need compost
      Use rocks as borders for transition to yard




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            Rain Gardens

Prep the soil
    Dig in a low spot
    Fill the bed with water (drains in a day you’re
    OK)
    Clay soil may need compost
    Make sure water overflows from garden to your
    property
    Call 800-DIG-SAFE

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            Rain Gardens
Plant the garden
    Plant “dry up high”
    Plant “wet down low”
    See sample rain garden designs at
    www.RainKC.com

Play!
    Experiment
    Enjoy the process
    Explore the garden in all seasons

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      low-maintenance turf
Decrease or minimize fertilizing
– Pages 39-42

Turf species
–   Buffalo
–   Zoysia
–   Bermuda
–   Tall fescue
–   Kentucky Bluegrass
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               Turf options
            Fertilizer     Drought- Mowing              Short
                           tolerant season              mowing
Buffalo     Less           Yes                A–S       Yes
Page 19                                       shorter
Zoysia      Less           Yes                A–S       Yes
Page 14                                       shorter
Bermuda     More           Yes                A–S       yes
Page 10                                       shorter
Fescue      More +         Moderate March -             No
page 7                              Nov
Kentucky    More+          Moderate March -             No
Bluegrass                           Nov
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Master Gardener Documents
Chapter 8

K-State fact sheets
– Turfgrass selection – professional series
– Turfgrass mowing – professional series
– Mowing your lawn



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     Why is this important?
Master gardener connection
Common questions – expert advice
–   Low-maintenance turf
–   Brown lawns
–   Tune-ups
–   Equipment choices
Personal and community health

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   Suggestions or Questions?
 Call Steve Travis, KSU-
  PPI, Olathe, at
  913-715-7022

  stravis@oznet.ksu.edu

 SBEAP Hotline
  800-578-8898
  www.sbeap.org



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