Love Leaves

Who doesn’t love leaves?

We all appreciate the beautiful colors in the fall, and the environment welcomes leaves as a protective and nutrient layer for its plants and wildlife. Fallen leaves shelter plant roots from excessive heat and cold, and once they decompose, they keep the soil healthy.

 

So why do we spend millions of hours and millions of gallons of diesel and gasoline to get rid of those leaves, while there is plenty of evidence that leaf blowers are:

  • extremely polluting and account for a significant percentage of the total air pollution.
  • disturb nesting and breeding of birds, microorganisms and other wildlife
  • disturb neighborhood peace and quiet
  • stir up pollutants such as salt, lead, arsenic, mercury, heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers, dirt, ash, fungus and mold spores and fecal matter
  • blow particulates in the air that aggravate allergies and asthma and exacerbate pulmonary issues, such as bronchitis.

It’s true that the turf grasses used for lawns might be smothered by excess leaves, but it’s much better to mow right over them to create mulch than to blow them away. The resulting shredded leaves will settle into the grass providing nutrients and reducing the need for fertilizers, weed killers and insecticides.

So, please, stop using leaf blowers in your yard, and ask your landscaper to do so as well. Inquire if they are familiar with the leaf mulching practice, and if not, please direct them to: the Leave Leaves Alone Website.

If you prefer to use a leafblower for your driveway, terrace or other hardscapes elements, please consider using an electric model. Electric leafblowers are cleaner and quieter. Better still, clear up your paved areas with a broom.

More information:

Leave Leaves Alone

Details on the Hazards of Gas Leaf Blowers

EPA Website on Particle Pollution