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Leaf Blower Project | Landscape Maintenance Transition

Leaf Blower Project | Landscape Maintenance Transition

Help Transition Landscape Maintenance to Low Noise, Zero Emissions

In most of our neighborhoods, gas powered leaf blowers are considered a major noise pollution problem, but there’s much more to the story.  Two stroke gas engines (those that require an oil and gas mix) generate high levels of fine particulate matter to go with dangerous decibel levels, millions of tons of carbon dioxide, and high velocity air jets that destroy nests, habitats and insect life.  Attached are several documents that tell the story:

  1. The Fact sheet is a good overview of the health and nature issues.  On page two there are 22 references including peer-reviewed science articles. It was published by Quiet Communities which is the best resource for towns considering community actions. https://www.quietcommunities.org/  Their founder, Dr. Jamie Banks has spoken in Westport before and would do so again in a large group setting.
  2. The Reasons to Restrict attachment makes the case for banning 2 cycle gas engines with references to other towns, and media stories.
  3. The CT and Westport Air Quality Report is familiar to most.
  4. “Get Off My Lawn”  is a good magazine article about a community (Washington DC) that implemented a ban.
  5.   Take the Pledge is a form to help gain awareness & commitment between homeowners and their landscapers (can be modified for neighborhood use).
  6. The Last Document is our Sustainable Westport call to find a Leaf Blower Issue Champion

The science is strong and compelling, alternative equipment is commercially viable, and there is a road map to follow—just not in CT yet!  Communities like ours have proven that there are alternative ways to keep decks, patios and walkways clear of debris (which is near and dear to Westport hearts).  We also need to get the town involved so we can create public Green Zones like schools, parks and commercial properties to use as demonstration sites and shared progress toward a town ordinance.

Here are suggested next steps:

    1. Get people involved.
      • Use this information to encourage neighborhoods to take a stand and go quiet! by changing the behaviors of residents and landscapers
      • Find an issue champion to coordinate public and private initiatives
      • Create the first certified green zone in Westport (Earthplace is close)
    2. Dramatically increase public awareness and education.
    3. Develop a plan that includes public and private actions

For reference, here is the Quiet Communities Mission statement: to transition landscape maintenance to low noise, zero emissions practices with positive solutions to protect the health of workers, children, the public and the environment.

That sounds like our calling, and Connecticut needs a leading town!

Tony

Anthony McDowell
Executive Director, Earthplace

10 Woodside Lane, Westport, CT
203.557.4401 t.mcdowell@earthplace.org

At Earthplace, we envision a sustainable community where
conscious regard for the natural world guides individual action.

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