There are few things more relaxing than sitting on the porch in autumn with a cup o’ coffee and listening to the wind blow the leaves to the ground. This is except for the fact that the sound from a nearby leaf blower almost always ends this scenario. Everyone seems to be driven indoors by the desire to create beautiful, visually appealing landscapes. However, gas-powered gardening equipment is changing the tide.

Worse Than Noise

Even leaf blowers can still be heard by the people. The sound level for the person holding a leaf blower exceeds 100 decibels, and those levels exceed World Health Organization outdoor daytime standards of 55 decibels for up to 800 feet (in many neighborhoods, that’s more than two Blocks away).

Leaf blowers do more than make your lawn look great. Gas-powered landscape machineryIt has a significant impact on the environment. California’s leaf blowers are more polluting than vehicles. A majority of models use a two stroke engine that burns 70% less fuel. This results in a 2-stroke engine that uses only 70% of the fuel. two-stroke enginesPickup trucks emit nearly 300 times more greenhouse gases than pickup trucks.

Blowers blast the air to a height 280 miles per hourThis can cause topsoil to erode and disperse pesticides and fertilizers in the air. You can drive away birds and blast insects from their natural habitats.

Environmental Justice

The machines’ most significant impact is felt by the people who use them. Although the noise can be annoying to neighbors, it is not harmful to users. Permanent hearing lossExposed to high volumes. The machine operator is also present at ground Zero Exposure to polluting substances – like carbon monoxide and unburned fuel – released. A leaf blower worker in the landscape industry inhales 10x more ultra-fine particles than someone standing next to a busy road. This risk could be taken on weekends by homeowners who might only take it for an hour. Landscape workers are most affected. Nationally, 46% of landscape workersLatinos, a population that already suffers disproportional effects environmental injustice.

While leaf blowers seem best suited to scatter leaves – usually into the street where they clog storm drains, they are meant to blow leaves into a pile. Photo: Callum HillUnsplash

Leaf Blower Bans

Leaf blowers were invented in the 1970s. First bansIt began in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, in 1978. It was then that it was started in Beverly Hills. Today, there’s growing momentum across the nation to ban or limit gas-powered leaf blowers – More than 100Municipalities have imposed some restrictions.

However, bans don’t come without criticism. Landscape workers are, paradoxically, the most vocal about health risks. They claim one employee with a gas-powered leaf blower is equal to two workers with manual tools, and that there simply aren’t enough workers to meet demand without them. Many homeowners believe gas-powered blowers work more efficiently.

Some landscape companies have already begun to do this. Convert to all-electric gearCustomers will pay more for cleaner crews. Low-cost landscape companies may find conversion too costly for them. Some electric blowers can have batteries that cost as high as $1,800. It would take more than enforcement to enforce a ban. Rebate programs are important. CaliforniaAnd Washington, D.C.

Better Blowers

Seattle, Washington considered switching to electric leaf blowers in 2014 but decided against it. Ineffective, especially in the city’s often wet conditions. In the eight years since their last use, electric blowers have seen improvements. Today, electric blowers perform better. RatingsFor Leaf blowers equipped with an electric motorElectric leaf blowers are twice the price of gas-powered leaf blowers, so the city is looking at making the switch. Electric leaf blowers are also quieter than gas, but there are differences among leaf blowers of the same type – look for one that Scores wellFor noise exposure

If you’re hiring a landscape company, you should be prepared to pay for one that uses electricity. worker safety. Provide the workers with enough PPE. Safety goggles are required for blower operators to protect their ears.

Blowing Better

According to Bob VilaAnd Home Depot, there is a right way to use leaf blowers – and it doesn’t look very much like what you usually see people doing. Leaf blowers seem best suited to scatter leaves – usually On the streetThey can block storm drainage and are illegal. They are designed to blow leaves into piles. The pile should then be placed on top and lifted up to be thrown into a bin. Leaf blowers should be used to collect the bulk of leaves (leaving strays to the rake) and to clear out areas where a rake doesn’t fit. A leaf blower used correctly will produce less emissions and take up more time.

But there’s another way to deal with leaves that takes even less work. Instead of throwing the leaves in a bag to be thrown away, you can blow them into your flowerbeds to make mulch. You can also clean your sidewalks and driveways. let leaves lieThey can land on grass and other areas. It might be lazy, but it’s also good for your garden; leaf litter doesn’t have to be composted before it can contribute to soil health.

Feature image by Vlad Vasnetsov from Pixabay 

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The Growing Movement to Ban Leaf Blowers

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