Monday, October 18, 2010

Inventions that BLOW!

Brace yourself.  ‘Tis the season for me to go off!
Ask my family:  What’s Mommy’s biggest pet peeve?
Answer:  Leaf Blowers!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am sometimes too logical for my own good.  But in this case, a little logic is needed.  In my opinion, leaf blowers are almost the most insane invention ever to take hold. They follow closely behind the world’s stupidest ideas: bottled water and “disposable” plastic bags.  See what I mean?  Just the thought of leaf blowers makes me all crazy and nasty. Sorry. I’ll try to stick to the facts:

Average Rake
Average Leaf Blower
Less than 2 pounds
6-12 pounds



$80-$420 plus gas


Swing 1 lb back and forth until all leaves or clippings are in a pile.

Swing 10 lbs back and forth until all leaves or clippings are in a pile.

Noise Pollution

None.  J

70-75 dB (see below for how ridiculous this is.)

Air Pollution

None.  J

Equal to 80 cars! (I think we can all see how ridiculous  this is.)

Is it me, or is it nuts to pay hundreds of dollars for a piece of carbon-pollution-generating equipment that makes a job more difficult and far more annoying? Like so many of the seemingly small or unimportant choices we make every day, this one is simply silly if you just stop to think about it.

Not to mention, leaf raking is good, old fashioned, family fun. Who would want to miss this?

4 Reasons Not to Use a Leaf Blower
1. They pollute the air. 
 A single gas-powered leaf blower can emit as much pollution in a year as 80 cars.
2. They're noisy.
A normal decibel level, considered acceptable in residential areas, is about 60 decibels (60dB). Every increase in decibels means noise that is 10 times louder. Leaf-blowers usually generate about 70-75 dB. According to the U.S. EPA this level of noise actually degrades quality of life by interfering with communication and sleep, leads to reduced accuracy of work and increased levels of aggravation, which can linger hours after exposure.
3. They worsen allergies and asthma and irritate the lungs. Because they operate at such high velocities, leaf blowers stir up the mold, allergens, and dust particles that otherwise have been tamped down with rain and decomposition.
4. They waste gas. Rakes and even electric-lawn blowers offer a petroleum-free alternative.
Note to self (and readers):  Add this website to list of favorites. 

Baby Step of the week: Quit the leaf blower habit. 
It’s not quite as foolish as smoking, but it’s pretty darn stupid.

A baby step you don’t even have to take:  If you have people who take care of your yard, you don’t even have to take this baby step, just ask them to make the change.  Tell them that you want to be a good neighbor and don’t want to annoy others with the noise; tell them you want to save their company money in gas and equipment; tell them your kid has asthma and the leaf blowers make it worse; tell them you care about the planet. Really, who can argue with that?  Say whatever makes you comfortable. Just say it.

Ask your gardeners, your spouse and even your neighbors to can the leaf blowers starting today. Or ask yourself: why not? 


No comments:

Post a Comment