Alex Kent: Let’s ban leaf blowers

Published: 11/30/2021 11:47:28 AM
Modified: 11/30/2021 11:46:56 AM

It’s a quiet, rainy Friday after Thanksgiving. My wife and I are enjoying a restful day at home. And then the leaf blowers descend on the rental properties adjacent to ours. Hours and hours of raucous, exhaust-spewing, endlessly-throbbing machines. A phalanx of men with backpack leaf blowers. Piles of leaves blown into a bucket loader.

It is the annual, sacred, and pointless ritual of men versus leaves. It is so unnecessary. Why is it not sufficient to use a rake to gather the bulk of the leaves and then allow what’s left to molder into plant-protecting, nourishing mulch? Are a few fallen leaves offensive in some way?

These machines foul the air with exhaust fumes (studies have shown that a 2-stroke engine leaf blower can spew as much hydrocarbon emissions in a half hour of yard work as driving a 6,200-pound pickup truck from Texas to Alaska). They destroy wildlife habitat. They spread allergens far and wide. They disturb the peace.

I invite people in Amherst and beyond to lobby their local leaders to get these infernal and unnecessary machines banned.

Alex Kent

Amherst




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