We are all familiar with their noise and efficiency, but did you know that Gas Leaf Blowers are banned in hundreds of communities nationwide? These communities have embraced the concept quiet, clean landscape care. They choose to avoid the harms of GLBs that include: noise pollution, emissions pollution, particulate pollution, and the health risks these cause for the landscape workers who use GLBs for extended periods.
Our neighbors in Washington D.C. and Chevy Chase Village are joining in the ban as of January 2022. Here in Northern Virginia, an advocacy group (https://quietcleannova.wordpress.com) is circulating a petition to the VA General Assembly asking that localities be authorized to enact GLB bans if they so choose.
As a push to get quality zero emissions products to market, the state of California is banning new small internal combustion engines used in lawn and garden equipment as soon as 2024. The bill includes funding to help small businesses make the switch to zero emission equipment.
California’s Air Resources Board reports that an hour using a gas leaf blower emits as much pollution as driving a 2016 Toyota Camry 1100 miles.
In sharp contrast is Little Foot Lawn Care, a small company in Northern Virginia that uses all battery powered equipment. They say: “Since sunlight makes your grass grow, why not use sunlight to maintain it? We use solar panels mounted on the company van to charge our equipment.”
Lamb Mowers is another innovative start-up in our area; they use a flock of small sheep to provide quiet, organic weed control, fertilization and mowing of lawns. They are proving to be very effective and a sprinkling of leaves are like potato chips to the lambs, an added treat!
What changes will we each embrace as we strive to honor the gifts of creation and shrink our carbon footprint in our own landscapes? Will we choose zero emission equipment? The old fashioned arm-powered rake? Lambs who feed and fertilize?
“An integral ecology includes taking time to recover a serene harmony with creation… contemplating the Creator who lives among us and surrounds us.” 225 Pope Francis, Laudato Si’