British Columbia homeowners may be in an unhealthy relationship with their lawn care equipment



    TORONTO, April 20 /CNW/ - More than half (57%) of Canadians with a
small-sized lot have yet to meet their perfect lawn care match says an Ipsos
Reid survey released today, conducted on behalf of The Home Depot Canada and
Clean Air Foundation(1). According to the results, 63 per cent of British
Columbians are dealing with a mate that is high maintenance, blows a lot of
smoke and has different long-term goals(2) - but what do you expect from a
gas-powered lawnmower?
    This spring, The Home Depot Canada and Clean Air Foundation are urging
British Columbia residents with old gas-powered lawn care equipment to meet
their new mower through Mow Down Pollution, a national customer-engagement
program designed to encourage and reward Canadians for permanently retiring
their high-polluting gas-powered lawn care equipment. By turning in their old
lawnmowers, trimmers, chainsaws and leaf blowers, British Columbians can find
true happiness in a mate that is low maintenance and a real breath of fresh
air.
    "When British Columbia residents think of the emissions they produce
through their daily activities, they might think about their cars or the
energy consumed to heat their homes, not about their lawn care equipment,"
said Fatima Dharsee, Acting Executive Director of Clean Air Foundation. "The
truth is that a standard gas mower can emit the same amount of common air
pollutants in one hour as driving a new car almost 500 kilometres. In order to
improve the air we breathe, we need to replace these old gas-powered units
with environmentally-preferred alternatives."
    The small two-stroke gas engines found in lawnmowers, trimmers, leaf
blowers and chainsaws are a significant source of greenhouse gas and
smog-forming emissions. Environment Canada estimates emissions from non-road
sources, such as lawn and garden equipment, comprise approximately 20 per cent
of all smog produced by mobile sources in Canada. Additionally, more than half
(57%) of Canadians with a small lot are using the wrong lawnmower for the size
of their lawn - a gas-powered lawnmower for a small city lot. This contributes
unnecessary emissions, as the lawn could easily be mowed using a push reel
mower causing no harm to the environment. What's even worse is that almost 1
in 3 British Columbians (31%) have potentially been with the wrong lawn care
mate for at least 10 years.
    But now they have options! Thanks to Mow Down Pollution, consumers who
turn in their old gas-powered lawnmowers, trimmers, chainsaws or leaf blowers
to any The Home Depot Canada store between April 23 and May 3 will receive an
instant rebate of up to $100 on the purchase of an environmentally-preferred
lawn care alternative. Additionally, the Clean Air Foundation will be in
stores helping customers meet their perfect lawn care mate, providing
important information on lawn care products and will ensure that all units
retired through the program are recycled in the most environmentally
responsible manner.
    "Mow Down Pollution is an incredibly easy way for anyone who cares about
their lawn to do their part for the environment," said Gino DiGioacchino, VP
of Merchandising at The Home Depot Canada. "The Home Depot recently sponsored
the development of a Canadian Green Home Index which revealed that Canadians
want to make more environmentally responsible choices but lack the knowledge
and support required to do that. Our Mow Down Pollution program provides
consumers with the education they need to make a better choice and a quick and
easy way to recycle their old lawn care equipment. The Home Depot Canada also
gives consumers an instant incentive so they can make the responsible choice
and lessen the burden on their wallets as well as the environment."
    This year, Mow Down Pollution participants will be eligible to receive an
instant rebate on one of over 20 eco-friendly products from eight categories,
including cordless and corded electric mowers, push reel mowers and cordless
electric trimmers, hedge trimmers, blowers and chainsaws. New this year, some
The Home Depot Canada locations are also offering a rebate on a ride-on
electric mower. Mow Down Pollution is urging British Columbians to visit
www.homedepot.ca/meetyourmower to find their match.
    Since the program's inception in 2001, Mow Down Pollution has helped more
than 26,800 Canadians retire their old lawnmowers and trimmers and meet an
environmentally-preferred alternative, resulting in the reduction of 748
tonnes of greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions.

    About Clean Air Foundation:

    Clean Air Foundation is dedicated to developing programs that focus on
improved air quality and preventing climate change through a simple model of
public engagement and reward. All programs drive societal participation and
promote behavioural change by making better environmental choices easy,
contributing to a sustained positive and measureable impact on the
environment.

    About The Home Depot Canada:

    Founded in 1978, in Atlanta, Georgia, The Home Depot is the world's
largest home improvement retailer, currently operating 2,266 stores, including
178 The Home Depot stores across Canada. In fiscal 2008, The Home Depot had
sales of $71.3 billion and earnings from continuing operations of $2.3
billion. The company employs more than 300,000 people, including more than
28,000 Canadians.

    About the Survey:

    These are the findings of a poll conducted on behalf of The Home Depot
Canada and the Clean Air Foundation from March 27-31, 2009. This online survey
of 1407 Canadian homeowners was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel,
Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results of this poll are based on a
sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics
and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian
population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the
Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a
probability sample. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online
polls, however, an unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100%
response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage
points, 19 times out of 20, had the entire adult population of Canadian
homeowners been polled.

    
    ---------------------------
    (1) Fifty-seven per cent of Canadians with a small-sized lot are using a
        gas-powered lawnmower (Ipsos Reid 2009)
    (2) Sixty-three per cent of British Columbia homeowners use a gas-powered
        lawnmower (Ipsos Reid 2009)
    




For further information:

For further information: Josie Haynes, Optimum Public Relations,
josie.haynes@cossette.com, (416) 934-8012 (office), (416) 909-0889 (cell);
Tiziana Baccega, The Home Depot Canada, tiziana_baccega@homedepot.com, (416)
412-6570 (office), (416) 409-6839 (cell)

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The Home Depot Canada

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CLEAN AIR FOUNDATION

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