Letters to the Editor

Letter | Leave the loud leaf blower in the garage

I am writing to ask my fellow residents on Mercer Island to stop using leaf blowers. It is well known that gas-powered models emit very significant levels of air pollution, and that they (all models) are extremely noisy. And they provide virtually no benefit. I grew up in the days before leaf blowers, and I don’t recall their absence being any problem. Lawns looked nice, and neighborhoods were quiet.

I know that other yard maintenance equipment, like lawn mowers, make noise. (I’m not trying to sound holy, but I traded my gas-powered mower in for a battery-powered one 15 years ago; it’s quiet, emits no pollution, and works pretty well.) But lawn mowers, unlike so-called leaf blowers, have a useful purpose. The reason that leaf blowers have become so commonplace is not because they are needed — it’s because Stihl et al. want you (or your lawn maintenance crew) to buy them. They’re cheap to make (and cheaply made) and highly profitable to sell.

I am asking you, as a favor to me and your other neighbors, to please consider not using a leaf blower. If you have a lawn maintenance company take care of your yard, tell them to skip the leaf blower.

Thanks for your consideration.

Tom Owens


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