It was disappointing that the ban on commercial gas-powered leaf blowers did not pass but encouraging that so many people voted in favor of it. It could have used a little more discussion, but it was the last article and it was late at night. Better luck next year.

But what do we do now? How do we survive the next nine months of leaf blowing?

Even though we lost the vote to ban them outright, we can all still make a difference. For example, if you have a contract with a landscape company to clean your yard once a week, you could change it to once every two weeks. You could also, for the sake of noise and pollution and stewardship, take the hit and request that your landscapers use rakes rather than gas powered leaf blowers on your property. We could also rake our own lawns.

We could also rethink the aesthetics of a leaf-free town and allow a few leaves on our lawn.

By the same token, if you are a landscape company, instead of sending three workers with gas powered blowers to postage stamp-sized properties, why not send just one? And instead of doing the whole job with leaf blowers, why not judiciously spread the work out between more raking and less leaf blowing? Why can’t some of these smaller properties in town be done with a rake alone? How about backing off on full-throttle and endless revving? Why not look into gradually switching to quieter and less polluting electric machines with the help of government grants, as we know are out there?

Stewardship works both ways. 

The gas-powered leaf blower is a dirty, loud and highly intrusive machine that pollutes the air, makes people sick, destroys peace and quiet, disrupts wildlife habitat and has overstayed its welcome. 

See you next April.

Sara Piazza