On Mowing.

There is few things in life I despise more than mowing. It’s not just that it has been a point of contention with my family ever since they stood me behind a machine I barely could stand over at the ripe age of 9, but just the pointless, un-winnable battle with a series of plants that would much prefer to stay long. The whole point of grass cutting has always escaped me. How much energy could we save if we just didn’t have sprawling yards, or if we just let it go? Most of us pay for parks and recreation which provides, among other things, parks for us to use. So, if I need some outside fun, I will venture to one of those. I never really used my yard either. Most of my time in the yard was spent…mowing it. Charlie-Brown-eqsue-Ughh!

I know it sounds weird, but mowing really defined my teenage years. It was something that needed to be done every week that I opposed to the point of being insane, while my dad fought me tooth and nail. Mowing was really less about cutting grass and more about a power struggle between my Dad and I. Example: The lawn always must be mowed before rain if we are to receive rain. Always. Why? It’s not going to prevent it from growing, if anything it will grow more freshly cut. Such is the struggle. For better or for worse, mowing is intertwined into my psyche.

Just because I loathe it so much, I decided to do some calculations and see just how much energy,time, and fuel has been wasted on mowing.

Here is my lawn taken from a satellite view from Google maps. This in my family is how we divide our yard. I know the names are dumb and uncreative I apologize (Well, it’s not the backyard. How about back back? Perfect! Not the sidelot…).

I used some Google magic and took some rough measurements of everything. (everything is in meters, Also, some parts were not perfect rectangles so the excess is added)


16 x 45

Back Back

6 x 20


11 x 19

Side Side

46 x 9 + 3 x 18


18 x 9 + 2 x 5

I tallied everything and found the total area to be:

1689 square meters or about 0.417 acres

Now to the meat of this, the reason I did it.

Warning these are very ball-parked figures, they just serve the purpose of an estimate.

I have to fill the tank of the lawnmower about 2 times per mowing and it has a 0.5 gallon tank. So, about 1 gallon of gas per mow.

I estimate the mower span to be about 2 feet so about 0.61 meters. That would mean after calculating through all of that I walk about 2383 meters or 1.5 miles per mow.

Using a calculator I found online, using my body weight and distance, it estimated I burn about 778 calories per mow.

It takes around 2 hours to mow the whole yard without breaks.

Using the amount of times I do this, going from age 9 to age 18 when I moved to college doing it roughly every week, i’ll even estimate every 2 weeks, during the months of May to November gives us:

18-9 = 9 years * 6 months * 2 times per month = 108 lawns mowed.

Now if we shrink that number, but not eliminate it, from age 18 to 22 and say probably once every 2 months:

4 years * 6 months * 0.5 times per month = 12 lawns mowed.

108+ 12 = 120 Lawns mowed

So, compiling all that, we have the totals:

120 * 1 = 120 gallons of gas

120 * 1.5 = 180 miles walked (almost 7 marathons)

120 * 778 = 93360 calories burned

120 * 2 = 240 hours (1 week and 3 days of straight mowing)

What a waste! Kind of like sitting down and compiling all of this data. All I know is where ever I am moving is going to have little to no yard. Well, sorry for that potentially interesting or potentially death inducing boredom. Check back for less mowing-themed posts.

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