A riding lawnmower is essential for bigger yards. A walk-behind mower just can't cut enough grass at once to make it worth using; you'd end up spending so much time trying to cut grass with that, that you'd eventually tear out the lawn out of frustration. With a riding lawnmower, however, you could cover a larger lawn without taking most of the day to do it.
However, riding lawnmowers use motors, and gas mowers, in particular, can add to air pollution as they burn fuel. Is there a way to make using a riding lawnmower more eco-friendly? Definitely, and you can do so with a number of tactics.
The biggest and best way to make your lawn mowing more eco-friendly if you use a riding lawnmower is to get an electric one. While you will have to use power to recharge it, and you may have to recharge it in the middle of mowing the lawn (some mower batteries won't hold enough power to cover several acres on one charge), but you won't be burning fuel and emitting exhaust. And if your home, where you'll recharge the mower battery, runs on solar power, that's even better.
Be Careful of the Cutting Width
Another way to make the mower more eco-friendly is to get one with a cutting width that's as wide as possible for your yard to take care of open areas, and then use a push mower for narrow sections and along borders that the riding mower can't reach. This does mean you'll spend more time walking and pushing the mower if you get a manual one that doesn't have a motor. But with the widest cutting width possible for your yard, most of the mowing will be over with very quickly. Just be aware of the mower's turning width and make sure that the mower will be able to turn efficiently and not get stuck. This does mean that "the widest cutting width possible for your yard" may not be the widest width available in the store.
Use a Cutting Height on the Low End of Ideal
The lower you cut the grass, the longer you can go between mowing times. Optimal height ranges differ by grass type; however, for example, if you've got a lawn where the optimal height range is between 2.5 cm (this is usually the bare minimum height that you want the grass to be regardless of type) and 4 cm, cut the grass to 2.5 cm so that you can let it grow to 4 cm before having to mow again. Reducing the number of times you have to mow decreases the need for more electricity to run the mower (in other words, you conserve electricity that you'd otherwise use to charge the battery).
Riding lawnmowers are so helpful when you have a large area to mow. Don't give them up, thinking that will be the only way to be eco-friendly; look for electric mowers, wide cutting widths, and good grass heights to help reduce your mowing footprint.