By November 30, 2007Sustainable Landscaping

Terra Nova advocates a leaf blower ban !

Let’s go from this . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . To this !
blow-and-go.jpg. . . . . brooming.jpg
“What we’re trying to do with the leaf blower and all our lawn equipment is to create the perfect suburban landscape. How do we create that? We create it by destroying the soundscape, imposing on it the drone of the internal combustion engine” says Les Blomberg of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse.

It’s a sad state of affairs when you know the gardener has shown up by how much noise they make.
We nominate the leaf blower as one of the worst inventions ever. With twenty-six million plus leaf blowers in the United States we think it’s time to find alternatives. At Terra Nova we prefer to use a broom or when absolutely necessary an electric blower over the two-stroke back-pack blower. Join us in calling for a leaf blower ban in your hometown.
Go here for more information


  • Feel free to include our grassroots website on your blower ban pages, http://www.zapla.org, which gives the history of our successful Los Angeles efforts to get at least a gas blower ban. The same tactics and misinformation are still being used by ban opponents. The site has “visual aids” and a 4 min.video that others may use, and we encourage other ban seekers with our experiences if they email us.

  • Rives Skotnicki says:

    I am a frustrated resident of Dallas, Texas where the neighborhood lawn crews make life miserable for a stay at home worker. How we can ban the use of all gas and electric powered landscaping machinery. I’ve done quite a bit of research on the issue and know that it’s not merely the noise but a host of other environmental, health, and quality of life factors.
    Are there any outfits that do yardwork the oldfashioned way?
    Hope to hear some encouraging news on this issue.

  • J. MacMillan says:

    Leaf blowers are especially obnoxious in a neighbourhood of residential high rises. One machine makes enough noise to be heard a city block away, disturbing hundreds if not thousands of people.

    J. MacMillan

  • Rives Skotnicki says:

    As I sit in front of my computer wearing earplugs and shooting range ear guards in a futile attempt to muffle the sound of blowers across the street, there has been no progress whatsoever towards a leaf blower ban in Dallas.
    Everyone I know hates the noise and pollution but in response to a suggested ban on the infernal machines, I usually get a chuckle or a sigh of resignation on the prospect.
    This misguided enterprise contributes substantial carbon monoxide, benzene and other particulate matter such as pesticides and pulverized dog feces to the surrounding air. For as we blithley jog or walk the area we unwittingly breath all this in. The cloud of pollution hangs suspended for five hours like an invisible shroud. Enjoy your sterile garden that has no real regenerative life as a consequence!

  • Elizabeth Holle says:

    I live in a nice apartment home community in Valley Ranch in Irving, TX. The leaf blowers are a constant. The noise is very annoying but worse than that, the blowers blow all the leaves and dirt onto my patio which I have to sweep and pick up every time they come through. Aside from my getting my exercise from their annoyance, I prefer walking in the clean outdoors without the noise and pollution of leaf blowers. I think they should be banned!

  • Rives Skotnicki says:

    I second your wish to ban the leaf blower! As I returned home around 6:45 PM, my next door neighbor’s landscaper (or landscalper)was frantically blowing the denuded “flower” bed,” polluting the evening air with neurotoxic benzene, launching the pulverized dog poop and pesticides into the air for all to breath. I hurried inside and found my husband covering his ears against the racket but to no avail.
    Earlier today I had to leave the housebecause another crew across the street was going at it.
    I live in University Park where the manicured lawn prliferates everywhere but at my place. We’ve got Bluebonnets in the spring, ornamental grasses, and a drought resistant approach. I rake the leaves and use a broom to sweep my walkways. I also allow the fall leaves to fertilize and protect my spring perinneals.
    Ban all gasoline and electric equipment..save the planet!

  • Rick Mage says:

    lol…what’s next, lawnmowers? If some ass clown comes to my yard telling me I can’t use my leaf blower, he better be a better shot than me, and I’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m pretty good with guns. The last time I looked, leaf blowers don’t bark in the middle if the night keeping neighbors up at night. If you guys are so concerned about noise pollution, maybe you should concentrate more on a law making it mandatory for all dog owners to have their dogs inside their house by 9pm. If they don’t they lose their worthless noise makers. Meaning, any dog caught out side, after 9pm, get taken to the dog pound. I know some of you people might cringe at this thought, but think about it. Some blowing their leaves usually does it during the day time. That means they are being considerate. Those ass clowns who let their dogs bark at night are not considerate people. They’re the ones who deserve to be shot, not me!

  • Ken says:

    Hey there Rick,
    I like your point. A little aggressive but a damn good point.
    I fully agree about the dog thing. Not that I’m going to go shoot my neighbor or anything but her three dogs bark at all hours of the day and night.
    My simple point is ….. do we really have to pollute the air and sound waves to blow leaves around? I think there are better more intelligent ways to deal with the problem then make more problems in the process and believe me air and sound pollution are big problems in our cities. I think it’s good to entertain different view points with respect and consideration. Thanks for your thoughts.


  • Bluester says:

    I live in Far North Dallas in a community that is otherwise great but ruined for us due to lawn service noise. Five houses surrounding our home use the same lawn service. They come every Saturday and move from one lawn to the next for up to SIX CONTINUOUS HOURS. Saturday is the only day we get the opportunity to enjoy our beautiful yard and pool. But we can’t be outside, and it’s loud even inside the house, so no naps on Saturday! We’ve asked our neighbors to request another day. One neighbor said to me “Well Adam has been doing lawns here longer than you’ve lived here.” (we’ve lived here and have put up with this for 12 yrs). Really. The neighbors were so happy when we bought the place and spent $$$$ fixing it up after it had been a rental property for seven years. So it’s about to become rental property once again. So THERE! I’m mad as heck – can you tell?

  • Grace says:

    I live in a condo and I dread every thursday. There are about 5 men using leaf blowers who blow every inch of the concrete in the parking lot using it on your automobile and your front porch as well, damaging the paint on your car,with the fine dust, the flowers on your porch, and swirling up a dust and gasoline fumes whirlwind. Most of the time, there are no leaves at all. but they blow every part of the driveways. Today I saw 3 guys blowing in one spot. If they worry about losing their jobs if it becomes a law, why don’t they do it the old fashioned way with rakes and brooms? Grace

  • Chandra says:

    I did a google search to see if there were any anti-leaf blowers out there …glad to see some recent posts on this blog! I am constantly under siege in my hood the perversely pristine Park Cities…last Sunday, (traditionally a day of rest”,as the Good Book says) I awoke to the sound of my neighbor’s lawn crew going full blast with the blowers. It was 7:30 a.m… unbelievable, I thought,but these were the same neighbors whose same crew showed up at noon last Thanksgiving and just as we were about to sit down for lunch. We couldn’t though,because they stand in my driveway,blowing the remnants up against my house and I have little cracks in my windows as nice souvenir from their visits. People have said,why not ask them nicely,to please have their guys not show up on Sundays or holidays? Well,as uncomfortable as that makes me feel,because when I have mentioned casually to other neighbors,I am met with angry defensiveness. I really try to make my appeals as polite as possible,merely stating the health concerns over the side-effects caused by these ridiculous machines. Maybe if people picked up a rake and a broom they wouldn’t have to haul their fat butts over to all those fancy gyms?

  • Cry and the whole world cries with you. – Russian Proverb

  • Sheryl says:

    I am in Dallas on an extended visit with my first grandchild. Taking her for a stroll through the Douglas Ave, Armstrong, Westway St neighborhood would be a delight — if it weren’t for the DOZENS of landscaping crews out with their USELESS, POLLUTING BLOWERS every damn day of the week. In addition to the ugly, nerve fraying noise we must cringe against, I have to cover the stroller with a linen cloth in an attempt to filter out the clouds of dust and exhaust fumes from the baby. The workers with that burning hot machine on their backs look absolutely miserable and aware of how unproductive they are when engaged in the leaf-blowing task. Who believes that blasting street crud and lawn waste into the next yard, and into the air and gutters, is improving the landscape? BAN THESE USELESS BLOWERS and insist that lawn crews work with a rake and a broom. What a hideous waste of energy! — a WASTE in gasoline, human endeavor, PRODUCTIVITY and in the money spent paying men to perform this time consuming and USELESS task! . . all so they can come back tomorrow and blow it in the opposite direction! Stupid, stupid, stupid. Super-bad PR for this upscale neighborhood in Dallas.

  • Hooman Bustani says:

    Leaf blowers do not “clean”, they just blow the dirt somewhere else, much of it only to be blown back sooner or later. Most other locations are worse places for dust to settle than the ground. Consider that this dust has not only sand and salt, but also brake dust, asphalt particles, particles coated with automotive fluids (engine oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, brake fluid), none of which are good to inhale, many being carcinogenic and/or toxic. Consider that this dust contains abrasives (sand, brake dust) and corrosive particles (salt, snow-melt) which will cause increased wear and tear when they settle down in the engine compartment of a car. When the rapidly swirling air enters a car’s engine compartment, it slows down and deposits a significant portion of the particles it is carrying. Owner’s manuals for cars say that if a car is driven in dusty conditions, its oil and various filters need to be changed twice as often. When leaf blowers are used, they expose cars to this type of abuse even when the car is sitting still! Coating an engine with salt and sand is just about the worst thing that can be done to it!
    When this dust settles on the furniture in your home, you have to be careful when cleaning it off. It is much more abrasive than regular dust, causing damage to surfaces, if it is wiped around on them.
    Leaf blowers were invented to blow leaves once a year, assuming there is a place to blow the leaves to (not your neighbor’s yard!). Using them to blow dust all over the place on a regular basis is sheer insanity.
    How can leaf blower proponents claim to care about immigrant workers when they are working them to become deaf? Leaf blowers are just a quick, dirty, and dishonest money-making gimmick for companies who can fool their customers in to believing that they are actually doing something productive for them.

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