Monthly Archives: May 2009

Easun Mowers will not have Sunlawn Brand Name Afterall

ADDENDUM TO PRIOR POST: Sunlawn Reel Mower Brand Taken over by Easun

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Easun Ideal reel lawn mower

Recently we reported that the Easun company filled the void left by Sunlawn’s closing, buying their designs and mower manufacturing setup. When Sunlawn closed its operations in May 2009, we were all very surprised, but also very relieved to have Easun keep these fine reel mowers in production for this 2009 season.

Originally, the mowers were going to keep the Sunlawn brand names and prepend Easun to them. Today we learned that the mowers will be completely renamed under the Easun brand as Easun prepares their marketing campaigns. We are about to head over to the site and change all the Branding on these mowers, but if you are in the middle of deciding/comparing/researching mowers we thought you’d want to know what’s up. See New Easun NaturCut Reel Mowers

Best…
David Temple
Peoplepoweredmachines.com

Sunlawn Easun shipment delayed one week by port office

Sunlawn Easun Reel Mowers are Coming!

Sunlawn Easun Reel Mowers are Coming!

First Shipment delayed at the port: We just received word that the first shipment of all Sunlawn Easun Classic and Ideal reel mowers will be delayed one week. Our warehouse is ready to ship them asap the day they arrive! We are now projecting shipping in late May.

Thanks for your understanding.

Enjoy your garden….
David Temple
Peoplepoweredmachines.com

Better Assembly Instructions for Brill Razorcut Mowers

Brill Razorcut Reel Mower Handle Assembly

Brill Razorcut Reel Mower Handle Assembly

Brill Reel Mower Line:
The Brill Reel mower line includes the  Razorcut 33, Razorcut 38, and Accu Razorcut . These mowers all have the same handle and handle assembly instructions…which we admit….are really easy but a bit vague in the manual. This mis-assembly has came to our attention this year when we   noticed our customers calling to discuss the lawn cut problems or the feel of the mower, it was usually this “mis”-assembly problem. It took us a while to figure it out, and here’s some pro-active info to help you off to a great reel mowing start!

Brill Reel Razorcut Mower Handle Assembly

Brill Reel Razorcut Mower Handle Assembly

5 Minute Assembly- But Easy Bolt Confusion:
About 90% of Brill owners find this assembly quite straight forward. However, we regularly have people who attach the handles to the wrong bolt…they are attaching it to the orange height adjustment knob. These knobs are red/orange and are shown in the picture. Attaching the handles to the adjustment knobs will eventually ruin your mower…but more importantly, you won’t get an easy or great mow and think it is the mower’s fault.

The Correct Bolt Is….
The user manaul directions show ( in an Ikea kind of way 😉 ) that you need to place the lower handle pieces over the bolts inside the reel blade housing. These bolts are NOT THE FIRST BOLTS YOU SEE. These bolts are found a bit more inside and close to the reel blades. So look a bit beyond that first set of bolts and that’s the one!

Surprising Water Footprints: 630 Gallons of Water to Make 1 Hamburger

WSj interactive on Waterfootprints

WSj interactive on Waterfootprints

We are researching rain barrels and rain gardens this month in order to expand our line for summer. In that process I keep coming across water footprint sites and info. So while we usually look downstream, this post is about looking upstream at what it takes to produce things. Recently I posted about the Story of Stuff video which is a painless 20 minute look at the garbage produced upstream from your purchases. This is the water side of that.

First, why do we care ::

Picture 9With water use increasing six-fold in the past century-more than twice the rate of Earth’s population growth-our demand for water is fast outstripping what the planet can replenish.

  • Two-thirds of the world’s population is projected to face water scarcity by 2025, according to the United Nations.
  • In the U.S., water managers in 36 states anticipate shortages by 2013, a General Accounting Office report shows.
  • The FAO has warned that within the next 20 years, two thirds of the earth’s population could face serious water shortages.
  • one flush of a toilet in the developed world, says the United Nations (PDF), uses as much water as the average person in the developing world allocates for an entire day’s cooking, washing, cleaning, and drinking.
  • see water footprint for your food items here

Here are some water footprint calculators::

And here are some tips and things you can do::

  • h2o conserve tips
  • stop using that sink garbage disposal unit, establish a compost pile or worm farm (besides, it is bad for the water to put more organic waste into them to go into our rivers and oceans and increase the nitrogen)
  • Shorter showers with less pressure (this one is very hard for me and my bad back!)
  • Install a water saving shower head – under $10
  • Ensuring taps, water pipes and hose connections don’t drip
  • Checking toilets for leaks. Use a few drops of food coloring in the cistern, wait for a while and check the bowl for signs of color – be sure to flush afterwards prevent staining.
  • Buy clothing with fibers that aren’t so water intensive
  • Installing rainwater tanks
  • Using greywater from sinks  and washing machines (saved in rainbarrels) to water the garden
  • install a rain barrel
  • Using low water car washes
  • Installing tap aerators
  • Turning off the tap while brushing our teeth
  • Turning off the tap while shaving
  • Washing veggies in a sink partially filled with water instead of under a running tap
  • Setting washing machines at the lowest possible water level for the load
  • Watering gardens just after sunrise or just after sunset to reduce evaporation
  • Mulching gardens to reduce watering requirements
  • Installing drip irrigation systems
  • Cutting grass a little longer during summer
  • Reducing the temperature of water heaters which lessens the amount of mixing needed to be done in order to achieve a temperature that won’t scald your skin
  • Insulate water pipes
  • Installing low-water-use flush toilets or displacement devices in the tanks
  • Fill a dishwasher completely before running it
  • Use drought tolerant plants in your garden and drought resistant grass for lawn

Stay tuned for our new rainbarrel and rain garden sections coming next month. In the meantime, really give thanks for that morning cup of coffee tomorrow….

Picture 10

Sunlawn Reel Mower Brand Taken over by Easun

UPDATE TO POST: New 2009 Sunlawn Easun Mowers Added to our reel mower comparison chart.
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Sunlawn Easun Ideal Reel Mower

Sunlawn Easun Ideal Reel Mower

Sunlawn Brand is Taken Over by Easun:
Last month it became official. After months of struggle, the owners of Sunlawn, hit by the same credit crunch as many this year, had to fold their company. A shame since this was the year they had new and improved models of the mowers already designed and manufacturing started. The former owners of Sunlawn were visionary in that they were the original importers of the Brill Reel Mower and then developed the Sunlawn model in response to the U.S. market needs. They were even going to move manufacturing to the US this year before the economic troubles began. Fortunately for us, the Easun company was able to step in and purchase the Sunlawn brand, the great designed mowers and finish their production. The design changes in these new 2009 models include larger wheels, extra back wheels, and higher cutting heights.

Sunlawn Easun Classic Push Reel Mower

Sunlawn Easun Classic Push Reel Mower

Sunlawn Easun Mowers in stock in 4 days :
The top-of-the line Sunlawn Easun Classic reel mower and the more economical Sunlawn Easun Ideal reel mower will be produced under the Easun label, but keep the Sunlawn branding for consumer recognition.  We expect the Easun mowers at our warehouse May 15

Why Reel Mowers are Still Best for the Environment

Most U.S. electricity is generated by burning coal.

Most U.S. electricity is generated by burning coal.

Our family business sells both electric and reel mowers, and starting 2009,  solar powered mowers. We started over 12 years with a simple mission to retire as many polluting, noisy, gas powered mowers as we could. Originally we offered only one very perfect reel mower: the Brill Reel Mower.  And to this day, 55,000 mowers later, with countless customer feedback on all the mowers, we still believe manual push reel mowers are the solution for smaller lawns most of the time.

GENERATING ELECTRICITY IMPACTS THE ENVIRONMENT::
Why? Because generating electricity impacts the environment by producing green house gases. In 2004, 40% of the US total emissions of greenhouse gases was from electricity generation (pdf). Most of our electric power still comes from the traditional burning of fossil fuels, with the largest amount coming from the dirtiest source, coal.

THERE IS A MIDDLE GROUND::
So the compromise between the pure manual push reel mower and electric mower is the electric reel mower : Brill Accu. We love this mower because when we get back from vacation and the lawn is overgrown, cutting is easy using the cordless electric feature. And the rest of the year we can simply push this mower with out the electricity on. So it’s like 2 mowers in one. This also means when you run out of battery (because high grass is harder to cut and uses the battery up quicker), you can finish the job by just pushing.

So when choosing a mower, do consider that electric mowers are not without environmental cost…only reel mowers can claim that!

UPDATE TO THE MIDDLE GROUND- SOLAR POWER IS HERE! :
As of April 2009, there is a new solar powered mower that is a great choice. It is powerful, a rotary so a heavier and needs blade maintenance, but still a environmentally sound option for those whose yards are not candidates for reel mowers.

RELATED LINKS:
Chart to compare all the reel mowers out there.
Great site for more on the costs of electricity.


Story of America’s Stuff: Must watch Video

Picture 47
My teenager brought home this link for us to watch last night. I am passing it on and hope you will do the same…especially to our next generation.”The Story of Stuff” with Annie Leonard makes stats and statistics about consumption palatable to young people (and old people, for that matter).

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

The Story of Stuff brings these facts to life in easy drawings and video::

  • Each person in the United States makes 4 1/2 pounds of garbage a day.14 That is twice what we each made thirty years ago.
  • For every one garbage can of waste you put out on the curb, 70 garbage cans of waste were made upstream to make the junk in that one garbage can you put out on the curb.
  • In the past three decades, one-third of the planet’s natural resources base have been consumed.
  • In the United States, we have less than 4% of our original forests left.
  • Forty percent of waterways in the US have become undrinkable.
  • The U.S.has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 30% of the world’s resources4 and creates 30% of the world’s waste.
  • In the U.S., we spend 3–4 times as many hours shopping as our counterparts in Europe do.

So far, six million people have viewed the film at its site, storyofstuff.com, and millions more have seen it on YouTube. More than 7,000 schools, churches and others have ordered a DVD version, and hundreds of teachers have written Ms. Leonard to say they have assigned students to view it on the Web.