In last week’s Gustavo the Gardenator column, we learned that illegal gas leaf blowers are fast and cheap. No surprise there — from litterers to negligent pipeline operators, many scofflaws and polluters justify their actions as necessary to save time or money. But no matter how efficiently performed, blowing clouds of dust from one property to the next often seems ridiculous.

The article didn’t mention that these machines are sufficiently noisy and noxious to have been banned already in over 20 California cities. Their use for an hour releases more disease-causing hydrocarbons and particulate matter than hundreds of miles of driving.

With gas blowers, the savings accrue to the landscaper, with the costs borne by the ears and lungs of neighbors. The quickest and easiest step to lessen household environmental impact is to rid one’s lawn of gas-powered tools, especially blowers.


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