Thursday, December 20, 2007

Leaf Blowers

My town is considering banning leaf blowers. When I'm home in the summer, there always seems to be some in use nearby, and they're very freakin' loud (not to mention bad for the environment). Then again, this picture is pretty cool in an American Beauty kind of way.


Don said...

I think people are getting out of hand with blowers. They use them to do things like blow sand and grass clippings off driveways all year round. Landsapers use them constantly. They're really dirty engines. Maybe they should be limited to leaf cleanup in the fall, because they really make a big difference then. Of course, rakes used to work fine for us 30 years ago....

Natalie & Jessica's Dad said...

Rakes didn't work fine...that's why God invented the leaf blower.

Now, I'm no McMansion-owning, professional-landscaper-hiring, yuppie homeowner. I've got an average yard, and I do everything myself, and it definitely does not have that professionally-groomed look. But I think it might be a better idea to a)limit times during which they can be used, b)limit the types of blowers that can be used, and c)go all "California" on the industry and demand quieter, more efficient designs.

My yard has more leaves than any other in the neighborhood. There's simply just too many leaves to hand rake. If I couldn't use a leaf blower I'd have to consider removing some trees.And that'd be crazy. I use a Toro electric blower. No messy gas engine. Sure, it uses electric, but I don't use it that much each year.

As for blowing clippings off driveways, how else would you get them off (other than bagging the grass right off the mower, which ironically is not recommended because mulching mowers are better for the yard and the environment.

Would the town ban mowers next? They are arguably more damaging to the environment, and perhaps as loud, and used more often.

Howard said...

I don't know where I fall on the ban. I'm sure it helps professional gardeners be more efficient, but they are annoying. Though they do use them during the day when most people are at work.

I have a hard time accepting, "There's simply just too many leaves to hand rake". To remove clippings from a driveway, I'd recommend another olde time device, the broom.

DKB said...

I think leaf blowers became popular as Americans had fewer, lazier kids. Suburbanites don't have the supply of free child labor they once did to rake the leaves and do other yard work, or neighbors' kids to hire cheap.

I also have an electric leaf blower/vacuum. It's NOT quiet, but has only the high-speed-blower noise, none of the 2-smoke racket or pollution. I didn't have to use it much in San Antonio (I'd bought it years before, when I had big pecan trees in Austin) but in my new/old home here in Fort Worth, with thousands of leaves from my trees AND my neighbors' trees, if my city councilman wanted to outlaw leaf blowers AND remain in office, I think he'd have to rake the leaves for me.

Howard said...

Sounds like Michael Moore trying to get Congress to do his laundry.

Richard Koehler said...

I have an electric blower and enough leaves to turn my yard into a leaf wasteland if I don't get them off the grass. Where I can, such as in the backyard next to the creek, the leaves stay where they fall.

I am definitely against the gas powered blowers since they are louder and pollute with very inefficient gas engines. My blower uses electric but the emission controls are back at the electric plants and are pretty good (I think about 20% is nuclear anyway).

Just thinking about hand raking again has caused me to have crippling back spasms. Instead of taking away my labor saving device (which is not going to happen in Delaware, thank goodness), I like the advice of N&J's dad, set emission and sound level standards and hours on the devices to control the issues not the blowers.

More interesting in my state is that they are going to ban yard waste in the landfill. All those leaves have nowhere to go come Jan 1st. We can blow the leaves all we want then, they just can't go in the trash! Mine are used as mulch in a large bed out front.