Leaf Blowers

I'm the type of person to take a firm stance on certain issues. There are certain things that humans have invented that benefit society and the Earth. There are other things that benefit neither the Earth nor society. As a matter of fact they are a detriment (a bad thing) for society. Today, I'd like to write about leaf blowers.

First, let's describe what a leaf blower is and then I'll give you my opinion on this device.

A leaf blower is a gardening tool that is designed to give the gardener a mechanical way to sweep leaves off of a property. It operates using a gas or electric motor and is worn on the back of the gardener as he works. There is a long tube that the gardener holds onto as the tube blows out a forceful jet of air. The gardener can point this jet of air at leaves on the ground and blow them in a semi-general direction.

That's a description of a leaf blower. So, why do I have a problem with this instrument? Well, my description tells you what the manufacturer has designed this instrument to do, but it doesn't say what is actually going on... out there... in the front yard... of the house next to yours (or maybe in the front yard of your home).

Let me make an analogy here. Let's say you are in your kitchen and you spill some flour on your sink. Do you blow on it to clean up the mess? What happens if you blow on some spilled flour in your kitchen? It's really the same outside... only worse. What happens when you point a high powered jet of air at a pile of leaves and dust? The dust becomes airborne. And what happens when you're standing within 200 feet of that dust? What if there were squirrel poop, dog and cat poop, and rat poop in that dust. Take a nice, deep breath! If you don't think this is correct, then you don't live in the real world with the rest of us.

So let's look at the real effect that the Idiot's Broom... I mean the leaf blower has on the clean-up of your front yard. The gardener points this jet of air at these leaves on the ground and they blow in a direction... Which direction are they blowing? Well, let's take the spilled flour in your kitchen for example. When you blow on a pile of flour, does it all blow into a neat pile in the direction that you want it to go? No. It scatters into the air and a thousand other directions. Just like a pile of leaves and dust.

Well, how can your next door neighbor's gardener clean up a bunch of leaves, cut grass, and dust that he's blowing all over the place? The answer is, he can't do that very easily. Remember he's using a device that's built for a lazy person. So he blows them onto your front yard and it stays there. He blows it all over your street, all over your car, your front porch, you track all of this into your house (leaves, grass, dust and dried poop). You're not paying him. He want's to make your neighbor's lawn look clean because your neighbor is the person who's paying him. He doesn't care about your property.

I could keep going on and on about various problems with these devices... Heavy noise pollution, carbon monoxide pollution, and so on. But instead, I'd like to mention a nice solution. It's very environmentally friendly. It won't mess up your neighbor's yard. It won't put a toxic cloud of dust around your house either.

I'm talking about a rake, a broom, and a trash can. Sometimes the old solutions are still the best ones.

If you are a gardener and you think raking is too much work, then you can tell your client that you need to charge a small amount more because you are environmentally friendly in your gardening. You'll make more money this way, and the world will literally be a better place because of this.