Webinar
AGZA News

Free Webinar: Join The Clean Tech Revolution. Solutions for Low Impact Lawn Care Operations.

Don’t miss out on the chance to learn about new business opportunities in the emerging sustainable lawn care industry.  Mark your calendar as you cannot afford to miss this occasion to understand more about how to transition your gas business to electric operations or pursue a new electric start up.
Webinar link:
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Welcome Service Pros
AGZA News

Welcome to Our Newest AGZA Certified Service Pros

Let’s give a warm welcome to our latest additions to the clean air, quiet maintenance service pro network.  All of these companies have been vetted by AGZA to provide quality landscape maintenance services without the harsh impacts of gas-powered operations.  AGZA Service Pros use state of the art commercial electric alternatives to mow, blow, edge, and trim.  Many of them can offer you “organic” weed & pest control, as well as organic fertilizing options.  These trailblazers are a new wave of sustainably minded landscape maintenance and installation companies who are offering a quiet, low-impact alternative to traditional grounds maintenance services.  Here is a list and contact information for your convenience.  If you value quieter surroundings, the health of workers and the community, and the planet, hire an AGZA Certified Service Pro today!

GreenWheels Lawn

McCoy Horicultural

MowGreen

TLC - Florida

Eco Lawn & Garden

New Jersey

New Jersey

Connecticut

Florida

Colorado

Phone:
(646) 320-7909

Phone:

(866) 622-6995

Phone:

(203) 254-9999

Phone:
(904) 771-8889

Phone:

(303) 248-6460

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Oregon No Longer Manufacturing 120V Tools
AGZA News

Oregon 120V Commercial Tools No Longer Manufactured

Sadly, it is the end of a great line of commercial battery electric tools

AGZA founder Dan Mabe has some special words for the dedicated team at Oregon

AGZA regretfully informs our AFTC audience and network of commercial operators of the following industry update: As of February 2021, Oregon will no longer manufacture the 120V Professional Series line of battery-operated lawn and garden equipment. This is disappointing news for AGZA and the industry, as the Oregon product line has received nothing but positive feedback from our Green Zone project managers and other users of the 120V tools.

AGZA commends Oregon for designing, testing, and bringing their powerful robust suite of battery electric tools to market.  We acknowledge the critical contribution Oregon made showing us all what can be achieved with battery electric technology.  Their efforts will help the technology evolve for years to come.

Oregon 120V tools will still be AFTC Certified as we have received notice that Blount is committed to honoring all warranties on equipment purchased prior to the discontinuation date. Further, Oregon will have aftermarket service and parts available for existing users of the equipment.

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AGZA News

AGZA and SCAQMD

Let’s kick off the new year on a healthy note!  With more and more people working and schooling at home transitioning to battery electric lawn and garden maintenance can help with cleaner air and quieter neighborhoods.  Electric equipment is zero-emission at point of operation, and has a much less egregious noise profile than their gas counter parts.  Blower, mowers, edgers, and weed whips can all be converted with the help of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)

AGZA is working with the SCAQMD with outreach to gardeners, academic institutions, municipalities, and large private landscape maintenance companies letting them know that if they trade in a commercial gas tool they can purchase a commercial electric tool kit which includes a tool ,battery, and charger for up to a 75% discount.

Contact AGZA to schedule a field workshop, bilingual program and tool introduction, or start an AGZA Green Zone project. There is no charge for AGZA outreach services for SCAQMD participants.  SCAQMD covers Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.

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AGZA News

INTEGRATING SOLAR INTO YOUR BUSINESS MODEL AND OPERATIONS; IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR COMPANY?

INTEGRATING SOLAR INTO YOUR BUSINESS MODEL AND OPERATIONS; IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR COMPANY?


(Los Angeles, CA — August 18, 2020) by Dan Mabe

How Solar Integration is becoming more popular

It appears the use of solar energy is becoming more commonplace in today’s society and a new batch of entrepreneurs are finding new and innovative ways of implementing solar power.  This outside of the box thinking can save businesses money and benefit the environment as well. The following businesses have flexed their creative muscle and found new ways of turning the sun into profits.

Ben Kaden installing a Narwhal Solutions Mobile Solar Design
Ben Kaden installing a Narwhal Solutions Mobile Solar Design

A few years ago these alternative solutions were not easy to come across but with more companies developing battery electric equipment to be charged, many may be encouraged to transition away from conventional internal combustion technologies. As solar panels begin to drop in price it only makes more sense to use this low cost renewable source of electricity. Now smaller businesses can harness the power of the sun and make a real difference on the environment.

Ben and Erin Kaden have found a way to turn their mobile detailing business into a green solution. The founders of Narwhal Solutions first implemented solar panels to power their washers and vacuums. It was a decade long journey but they have found a way to help other businesses make the conversion to clean energy sources. Inspired by the events of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, they started their detailing business in 2010 and ran their vehicles and generators with fryer oil. After finding a way to make solar power mobile they took further strides in cleaning up the way people do business and recreation.

“Solar power generation for mobile application could potentially simplify power needs while saving money. On top of the cash saved by no longer needing to buy gasoline to power your daily tools and equipment, you’re moving into the future,” says Ben Kaden

Narwhal Solutions offer solar powered generators that fit into the bed of a pick-up truck. For those that need a bit more power they offer towable’s in a range of sizes. These generators can accommodate any needs from wireless tools to heavy duty power tools. For more information go to solnarwhal.com 

Another pioneer in the new wave of unique solar powered businesses is Solar Earth Lawn care owned by Gus Mariscal. With solar panels mounted to the roof of their truck Solar Earth Lawn Care has found a clean source of energy to power everything from lawn mowers to leaf blowers and hedge trimmers. In the competitive field of landscaping it is important to find a way to stand out says Gus.

Maintaining a pristine green lawn can be far from actually being green. On top of the cost of gasoline, the negative health impacts to his crews were too much for Gus.  Additionally, Gus was concerned about air and noise pollution created by his gas business when he decided to convert to a sustainable solution. Solar Earth’s use of electric equipment and people powered tools comes with the added benefit of having no fumes and low noise. Recently they have brought in help from robotic electric mowers made by Husqvarna that cut your lawn in silence while you go about your day. Solar Earth Lawncare is the first solar powered landscaping company in Indiana and an AGZA Certified Service Pro business. Gus hopes more companies follow this trend. For more information about Solar Earth Lawn Care please visit http://solarearthlawncare.com/

As solar power becomes more common place in a variety of mobile charging applications, there will be more entrepreneurs joining new wave of businesses utilizing renewable energy solutions.

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AGZA News

ROBOTIC LAWN CARE SYSTEMS (RLCS)

ROBOTIC LAWN CARE SYSTEMS (RLCS)


(San Jose, CA — August 28, 2020) by Audrey Wen

Linus of RLCS showing the simplicity and safety features of the Husqvarna Automower blades.
Linus of RLCS showing the simplicity and safety features of the Husqvarna Automower blades.

It takes seven days for a sitting mower to maintain 500 acres of lawn across 14 campuses of the Eastside Union School District. The department’s checkbook records a hefty investment of $100,000 for the large traditional gas mower, continuous maintenance fees, and the costs of 30-40 gallons of gasoline per day. This current system is nothing but an unfortunate concoction of time and cost inefficiency mixed with a large dosage of unsustainability.

Luckily, Robotic Lawn Care Systems (RLCS) presents the modern and viable alternative with its robotic fleet for lawn care services. AGZA introduced RLCS to Roger Silveira on its mission to make Evergreen Valley High School the second AGZA green zone high school in the nation. RLCS offers the Husqvarna Automowers with the Fleet Service App, giving the crew full control over their scheduled operation and location. Since the boundary wire was not set up yet and the robot hadn’t had time to analyze the area and it’s ideal mowing path through an adjustment period, the Husqvarna Automower was just set to a demo mode to exhibit its capabilities. It put on an impressive display run on the hilly mound with barely any audible operation noise. Everyone present was genuinely impressed by its outstanding performance. The automated system eliminates the two most pressing and evident concerns over gas lawn tools: Emissions and Noise. In addition to only using 2% of the energy of a ride-on option, the Husqvarna Automowers do not release any pollutants. They stay between 55-58 dB, practically heaven to the ears of the crew, and school students, who have been in the presence of the 95-100 dB riding mower. As the demo carried on, the Automower ran into the foot of a tree. Instead of trying to forge ahead, it smoothly spun to the left and continued on its way. The robots are as safe as traditional mowers. The robots can pivot from obstacles and stop immediately when lifted, presenting no harm to its surroundings.

A major benefit of the automated system is the resulting increased productivity of the crew. While the Automowers take care of the straightforward and repetitive job of mowing the fields, the crew gains the ability to focus on more detailed orientated tasks that need to be done neatly and with precision. Such duties are not as pressing as mowing so they may normally be put off and neglected due to the crew’s limited time. With the crew’s workload lightened by the weatherproof robots operable day and night, rain or shine, the workers can focus on enhancing the property on the next level.

Audrey Wen is a junior attending Dougherty Valley High School in California. She is passionate about bringing light to the harms of gas powered lawn equipment and is eager to bring about their phase-out. Audrey created Debunk2031.org to combat the predicted growth of smog-forming emissions due to small off-road engines, specifically lawn maintenance gear. During her free time, she enjoys crafting and playing the Chinese violin.

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AGZA News

EGO LEAF BLOWER USE AT AN AGZA GREEN ZONE® GOLF COURSE

EGO LEAF BLOWER USE AT AN AGZA GREEN ZONE® GOLF COURSE


(South Pasadena, CA — August 15, 2020) by Esther Wu

EGO Leaf Blower on Golf CourseIt’s 4:45 Sunday morning at Arroyo Seco Golf Course in South Pasadena.  It is almost pitch black and the chorus of birds singing can be heard in the background.  There are residential homes adjacent to the course who can practically call the golf course their back yard.

On this day, the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA)  meets with the grounds crews for a “shadow” outing to verify that the crews are honoring the AGZA Green Zone Certification the golf course pledged to uphold by using only electric hand held tools for routine everyday maintenance.  These tools are blowers, weed-whips, hedge trimmers, edgers, and chainsaws.  Under the certification the course is also using a 52″ Mean Green electric mower and an electric greens mowers which was recently converted to a lithium platform.

AGZA is also there to continually track and verify the performance, durability, and workload capability of the various electric equipment used to maintain AGZA Certified Green Zones.  Any tool that shoulders the responsibility of Green Zone certifications has to be exceptional.  Today’s outing was focusing on the blower use.  Every morning seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year, the dedicated crews wake up at before the crack of dawn to prep the course for the first tee times which start at 7:00 AM.  Part of this everyday ritual is blowing off all eighteen greens to prep them for the greens mower.  AGZA shadows grounds crew member Mike in the darkness to his first area around the club house and practice putting green.  After that he heads for hole number one and maintains a rigorous and steady pace to stay ahead of the greens mower which is using head lights for the first few greens waiting for the sun to finally show itself.

Mike is using an EGO, 580 CFM handheld blower.  He started with a couple of other brands but settled into this particular model from EGO.  He likes the sound profile, power, and ergonomics.  The crews stressed that they have to be picky and discerning on even which “electric” leaf-blower models they use that early in the morning.  Dan Mabe President of AGZA states “not all electric blowers translate to noise relief”.  The reason for this he explained is that different brands may have similar dB ratings but the harmonics and the pitch can be harsh on the ears with some models out there.  EGO scores very high among only a handful of other AGZA AFTC© Certified electric blowers on the market.

Mike uses up to three EGO 7.5 amp hour lithium batteries to completed is morning workload.  He informed us that he usually discharges two full batteries and half of the third one.  These particular batteries are seventeen months old and are used every single day.  AGZA tracks the fuel savings with the crews achieved by using battery power instead of gas and two-stroke mix previously used to power their gas leaf blowers.  The reduced maintenance of their electric blowers compared to their old gas ones is always enthusiastically mentioned by the course crews.  Other EGO equipment used at the course is the commercial LBX6000 blower, and HTX6500 Hedge trimmer.

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AGZA News

TRAINING WORKSHOP AT EASTSIDE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT

AN ACCOUNT OF AN AGZA GREEN ZONE® TRAINING WORKSHOP AT EASTSIDE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT (ESUSD)


(San Jose, CA — March 03, 2020) by Audrey Wen

American Green Zone Alliance Certification for a Second Eastside Union School District High School, Evergreen High

I thought I understood the difficulties going in. I did not.

As I stepped into one of the portables of East Side Union High School District (ESUHSD) after meeting Dan Mabe, the Founder and CEO of AGZA, and Roger Silveira, the Director of Facilities, Maintenance & Operations at ESUHSD, I thought nothing more about the training workshop I was attending than an informational session for me to further my understanding of the health risks of gas equipment.

Dan Mabe presents STIHL’S 36V, AP battery electric line up.

Mr. Mabe started off the presentation with his personal attachment to this initiative. I learned that he has dedicated himself to changing the lawn equipment industry to become more clean, efficient, and sustainable since 2006. AGZA has developed a true behavior modification certification that is tried and true. The current movement towards alternatives to gas is largely facilitated by AGZA and Mr. Mabe’s dedication. In conjunction to his story, Mr. Mabe delved into the detrimental exhaust emitted from gas equipment through sobering statistics and video clips. Some of his audience was engaged, while others appeared to rather be attending a driver’s ed class.

Dan gave numerous examples of other AGZA Certified Green Zones, some covering over 120 acres of “serviceable” property. These certifications require the phasing out of all two-stroke equipment for “routine” maintenance but can score higher the more gas operations are phased out during the process.

Dan coordinated with Roger to have most of their new battery electric gear staged inside the classroom.

As the workers pitched in on issues of the battery powered equipment through their experiences, Mr. Mabe under Mr. Silveira’s watchful eye calmly explained necessary cleaning and usage measures to ensure optimal usage efficiency and lifespan potential of batteries and tools.

With the first ESUSD AGZA Green Zone (Yerba Buena High School), there were a few issues with acclimating to the new technology. The challenge with the switch in equipment came from the workers’ treatment of the new tools as their old gas ones and their expectations for them to work the same. One aspect of AGZA certification is a support program to assist all grounds maintenance workers in their transition to more environmentally friendly and energy efficient lawn equipment. One gentleman who had been part of the crew who first used the electric gear stated that he did not want the certification to be a blame program but rather a support program; Mr. Mabe explained there will need to be some modifications in the overall approach when phasing out internal combustion operations. Nonetheless, I understood where the man was coming from. Despite their initial efforts to adopt the new equipment, the results were mixed but overall the electric equipment had been handling the campus workload for over a year now.

STHIL’S AP line has been used in AGZA Certified Green Zones for nearly a decade.

I understood that asking an entire industry of gas users to make the switch to a completely foreign technology to meet their same end was challenging, especially so because the workers did not want to be told what to do but rather shown a credible, different way to do it. Being further told how to do their work by people seemingly oblivious to their concerns further distances the gas maintenance industry from the movement that expects rapid change. The impacts on distributors, dealers, and the grounds maintenance industry who are heavily dependent on fossil fuels to power their industry are recognized, but they can be managed with the education and professional guidance offered by AGZA to help navigate the changes being asked of them.

As Mr. Mabe touched on the noise reduction that battery powered equipment would bring to the crew, I overheard two men near me discussing their opinions on the noise. Both acknowledged going about their daily rounds without any form of ear protection. I couldn’t help but react in concerned shock. That was exposures of up to 100 dB of noise at the ear for hours a day, hundreds of days a year, and who knows how many years.

Through that little snippet, I realized that the workers were already accustomed to what they had. Getting used to new equipment will definitely be a challenge for some and easier for others who are more receptive.

Nearing the end of the workshop, everyone stepped out of the room to take a look at the mower. As Mr. Mabe shared improvements of the new mower that would be arriving soon, the men were clearly divided into two groups. The first consisted of those who were actively crowding around the mower and displaying genuine excitement at the improvements that would be coming their way. The second stood in the shade to evade the sun with unconvinced and unsure attitudes. Just as I noticed this divide, a member of the first group walked over to someone from the second group. He analogized the gas equipment to an ex-girlfriend and the battery powered equipment to a new girlfriend. While the ex may have been the right match at that time, you are no longer together for a reason. The new girlfriend will never be the same as the old one, so you need to adapt to a different partner. In current times, we must consider how to preserve the environment and eliminate excessive gas emissions. Within this year, smog-forming emissions from small off-road engines will exceed those of passenger cars, and those numbers are only predicted to steadily rise according to the California Air Resources Board. It is time to acknowledge this prevalent issue that has flown under the radar for too long.

Pictured here are more STHIL 36V AP tools and a Mean Green, 60” ZTR mower. Mean Green Mowers have been used in large scale AGZA Certified Green Zone projects for over seven years.

The workshop concluded quite successfully considering its rocky start. As it had progressed, more and more workers gained faith in this transition. This is truly attributable to AGZA’s persistent efforts and its collaboration with the ESUHSD. Without Mr. Silveira’s willingness to embrace change in the district, the project would not have progressed to its current stage. This ambitious journey must acquire full-on participation from governmental agencies, non-profits, and the private sector in order to reach a stage where we no longer have to worry about the issues of gas powered lawn equipment to our public wellbeing and environment. Governmental agencies address gas equipment usage to a certain degree, but do not share the sense of urgency that AGZA stands by. AGZA will continue to facilitate the prudent and responsible implementation of battery electric, and people powered operations over gas, but it may take a combination of regulations from those at the top and grassroots efforts to make significant changes. The hope is that the current gas powered industry will reasonably embrace and implement cleaner technologies at a pace that will help governmental agencies reach their clean air attainment goals on time.

On the car ride back home, I contemplated Mr. Mabe’s words in addition to what I had seen firsthand at the workshop. Even now, I don’t dare say I understand all the difficulties of this project. All I know is that everyone must come together to combat this issue – this is no small matter. I hope that change and acceptance is imminent.

Audrey Wen is a junior attending Dougherty Valley High School in California. She is passionate about bringing light to the harms of gas powered lawn equipment and is eager to bring about their phase-out. Audrey created Debunk2031.org to combat the predicted growth of smog-forming emissions due to small off-road engines, specifically lawn maintenance gear. During her free time, she enjoys crafting and playing the Chinese violin.

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AGZA News

AGZA GZ IN SCAQMD NEWSLETTER

AGZA GREEN ZONE® CITY OF SOUTH PASADENA
APPEARS IN SOUTH COAST AQMD NEWSLETTER


(Los Angeles, CA — June 26, 2019)

Congratulations, City of South Pasadena!

Four years on, the story of your sustainability leadership and certified AGZA Green Zones continues to earn coverage in the media and key agencies. The latest is in the South Coast AQMD’s bi-monthly newsletter, the AQMD Advisor.

Targeted media coverage is critical to raising awareness throughout the community. South Pasadena’s AGZA Green Zone has already inspired other communities and organizations around the country to dump their noisy polluting gas equipment and create quiet, clean AGZA Green Zones with electric.

It is worth noting that AQMD chose to showcase the South Pasadena story on page 5 (screen capture below), paired perfectly with the promotion of their own amazing commercial electric equipment exchange on page 4 (screen capture at bottom). An ideal one-two punch to inform and activate professional grounds keepers across the air district.

AGZA extends our gratitude to the City of South Pasadena and the SCAQMD Board for these two groundbreaking initiatives.


SOUTH PASADENA, THE NATION’S FIRST AGZA GREEN ZONE® CITY


SOUTH COAST AQMD COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE OFFER

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AGZA News

QUIET CLEAN PDX TESTIFIES TO STATE OF OREGON ON PROPOSED GAS LEAF BLOWER BAN

SUMMARY

AGZA congratulates Quiet Clean PDX (QCPDX) on the great multi-faceted testimony on HB3350 to the Oregon State Legislature’s House Committee on Energy and Environment. QCPDX’s coordination, commitment, and presentation is highly compelling and well argued.

We are grateful QCPDX sought AGZA’s input and support materials, along with those from our East Coast ally Quiet Communities, and are happy to see them being referenced effectively in this campaign.

AGZA looks forward to continuing our alignment with QCPDX as they marshal on for Portland and Oregon!


SPEAKERS


VIDEO

  • RUNTIME 35:24

  • SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW = 1.5x Fast Forward (with audio)

  • CC BUTTON = closed captioning (delay and poor quality

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