Good news for power tool fans: Cordless tools are getting more powerful, lighter in weight, more ergonomic and more affordable. Not only that, they’re getting green.
Those were among the advances on display at this year’s National Hardware Show, an industry-only event of 3,500 exhibitors who showcased the latest in just about anything you can find at your local hardware store, home centre or lawn and garden centre.
As in other industries, the emphasis now is on environmentalism.
Here are a couple highlights:
Cordless mowers powered by rechargeable batteries have been around for about a decade and continue to grow in popularity since they don’t produce emissions. However, push-reel mowers are coming back as a green alternative. The only energy they use are calories burned by the operator, and there is no harmful exhaust. Today’s push reel mowers aren’t what you may remember while growing up. They are lighter, easier to manoeuvre and do a great job of cutting.
Using toxic chemicals to clear a clogged drain is anything but green. The alternative is to call a plumber or attempt to clear the clog using a drain snake, which can be cumbersome at best and lead to a real mess.
The folks at Superior Tool have come up with an alternative called the Yellow Submarine Power DrainStick: A thin 45-centimetre flexible plastic snake that is connected to a mini screw gun that fits neatly in the palm of your hand. Simply insert the snake into the drain and pull the trigger. No chemical, no plumbing bills.
Rechargeable batteries are everywhere — in tools, computers, cellphones, digital and video camcorders and small appliances. The problem is portable rechargeable batteries routinely end up in landfills, allowing hazardous chemicals to leach into ground water supplies.
The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the recycling of rechargeable batteries and cellphones, has teamed up with major hardware and electronics retailers to make the recycling process easier.
Today there are more than 50,000 free battery recycling drop-off locations across Canada and the U.S.
Log on to call2recycle.org or call 1-877-2-RECYCLE to find out where to take your old batteries and cellphones.
For more home improvement tips and information, visit onthehouse.com.