Alden Gray, 34, owns Northwest Naturescapes in Corvallis, Oregon. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in environmental studies and public policy. Now, he designs and installs landscapes and does general landscape maintenance.
Through his business, he wanted to “reduce his carbon footprint and make the world a healthier place and help people grow their own food.” Some days, though, it ends up being “mostly about weeding.”
When asked why he runs his business mostly from the back of a three-wheeled bicycle, he sighs and says, “I just couldn’t buy the truck.” So, he bought a two-wheeled bike instead, and modified it with the help of an electric conversion kit.
Wanting something more stable, he found a three-wheeler for sale, added a box to the basket area for the battery, and lined the box with tubes to hold his tools. But the battery, designed to power a bike, just didn’t have enough power to propel both the bike and a trailer full of equipment.
“When you run out of juice,” Gray said, “and you have to pedal home, well, that got kind of old.” He solved the problem by putting additional lithium batteries in a backpack that also fits inside the box.
The battery pack also runs his power tools. He straps on the pack, plugs in his hedge trimmer or electric mower and goes to work. He admits, though, that it’s a bit tiring to haul that battery-filled backpack around while working, as it weighs 50 pounds. His back, as well as his commitment to being a zero-emissions landscape contractor, must both be quite strong.