The Leaf Blower: A Scourge Upon Our Landscape

I did it! Instead of hand-wringing, which I am guilty of, I’m trying to take action.  I’ll try to write one email or make one phone call; at the very least, I can try to do that for our environment.  We need to educate the public about the number one menace destroying the peace of our neighborhoods and fouling our air: The Gas Leaf Blower.

So, I made my phone call.

I had heard that they hire young people to answer the phones in our elected officials’ offices. So, I called Georgia Senator Isakson 202-224-3643. A young man answered. I chatted and asked him if he was a volunteer. He told me that he had been an intern and then after he graduated from the University of GA he was hired. I asked him if he planned to go into politics as a career. He said he was planning on it. So, who better to talk to? A future politician.

So, I gave him my leaf blower elevator speech.

I said, “You’ve probably never heard of this issue, but you’ll be hearing about it in the future. We have 9 million registered cars in Georgia and we’ve managed to legislate our way to much cleaner engines in those cars, but we’ve had Code Orange Air Quality days all week in Atlanta. Only California seems to realize that it’s our small-off-road engines really adding to our air quality problems.

California has 16 million small off-road engines operating and I would guess Georgia has about half that. These small engines are the super-polluters. They’ve escaped regulation. They cause our asthma-inducing air quality problems. Small landscaping engines emit massive pollution. My neighborhood is filled with lawn crews with massive mowers, edgers and leaf blowers dumping concentrated pollutants right where I live and contributing greatly to the overall air quality problem.

And, by the way, noise pollution is a real thing. The noise pollution along with the exhaust is making daily life in my neighborhood unbearable. We need to get this under control. So please remember these words: Landscaping Reform — Electric Equipment is Necessary to Clean Up Our Air. You heard it here first. Thank you for listening and please pass this along to Senator Isakson.”

The young man said, “Wow. I didn’t know that. Thank you and I’ll let him know.” If nothing else, I educated one person today.

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Don’t use heavily polluting equipment in the yard like GAS mowers, leaf blowers and edgers…. these are the most polluting engines still on the market today! Shrink the lawn.  Buy electric equipment or a push mower for a good workout.  
…data now indicate bees and other insects could take longer — much longer — to find and follow scents to a meal. The scientists have shared their findings in the July 1 issue of Atmospheric Environment.

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