The only time I push <b>my</b> mower is when it runs out of gas. I routinely cut approximately 2 acres each time. I don't think I wanna push a mower around for too long!
Mebbe someone would like to come show me how it's done with their mower
You have figured out where reel mowers are bad. For people like me (my house sits on a .2 acre lot) the push mower is great. The basic rule of thumb is if your lot is bigger than .25 acres you're probably better off with a gas or electric mower.
I was actually considering buying an battery powered electric mower (I think Black and Decker makes one, or is it Craftsman?). Some people have just hooked those up to an outlet that gets it's power from solar panels. That's a lot of work, but if energy independance is your goal it makes sense.
Our solution is to let mother nature choose the landscape. If you don't fertilize, then you don't need to water, and if you do neither, then it grows very slowly. We mow once a year, just before the "grass" (local weeds, really) goes dormant.
Overall, gas-powered lawn mowers account for a HUGE amount of emissions in North America. No Catalytic converter or other emissions equipment x 1000's of users per day in the warmer months and you get a considerable amount of pollution. It sounds crazy, but it's a fact.
we have a sweet Toro 14" electric lawn mower, it's really nice for things like around the garden, and around trees, and other smaller areas, I don't think I would want to mow the whole lawn with it, but it's pretty light weight, has a lead acid battery about the size of the one in my honda (only a deep cycle) and a simple on/off switch, the only draw backs of it is, it hates having a dull blade, so hitting rocks and sticks is bad, and grass that is taller then a foot lugs it down a bit.
I tried cutting back on the size of the mowed lawn, but apparently grass clipings make great garden mulch, so the lawn got alot bigger.