A Better Way to Care For Your Yard

What you should know about gas-powered yard equipment: Gas Pollutes…

  • 1 hour gas mower usage equals driving 300 miles
  • 1 hour gas leaf blower use equals driving 1,100 miles
  • Gas leaf blowers are inordinately large emitters of CO, NOx, HC and PM, therefore contributing to greenhouse gases and climate change
  • A 2011 test by car experts at Edmonds showed that consumer-grade gas leaf blowers emit more pollutants than a 6,200 pound 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
  • By 2020, ozone-contributing pollutants from small off-road engines (inc. gas yard equipment) will exceed those from cars
  • Gardeners who operate gas yard equipment are exposed to carcinogenic exhaust fumes daily from direct release of tailpipe emissions

Noise from gas equipment is harmful to hearing…

  • Gas-powered mowers and blowers range from 80-100+ decibels; a jet take off is 100 decibels
  • Gas blowers measuring 70-75 decibels at 50 feet can reach 90-100 decibels at the operator’s ear and to those nearby
  • Exposure to 80-92 decibels for two hours can cause hearing damage
  • Gas leaf blowers are damaging to plants…
  • Leaf blowers operate at 170 MPH – hurricane force winds – disruptive to plants and biota
  • Blowers erode beneficial mulch and bark around trees and landscaping and stir up allergens, mold and dust contributing to allergies

Paul Durbrow rakes

When the Neighborhood Concerns Committee of SCNA was in the park one dark, cold morning, a gentleman walked up and volunteered to rake leaves –

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A Better Way: Electric Yard Care Equipment

  • No on-site point-of-use pollution; electric generated at power plants equipped with scrubbers to filter out pollutants
  • Noise is considerably less; measured in Curtis Park at 55 decibels
  • Electric equipment is much improved, new high tech batteries are used rather than plug-in cords.

The City of Sacramento Noise Ordinance specifies that:

  • Gas-powered leaf blowers may only operate from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday thru Saturday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sundays
  • Noises levels may not exceed 65 decibels at a distance of 50 feet; most gas powered equipment exceeds this level but there is no current enforcement

Interested in Clean & Quiet Yard Care? Here’s what you can do:

  • Ask your yard care provider to use electric equipment
    Find an existing provider that works with electric yard care equipment
  • Purchase your own electric equipment for your provider or yourself to use
  • Pool $ resources with your neighbors for joint use electric equipment by you or your providers
  • Ask your provider to use a manual mower and rake by hand (studies show no significant difference in time efficiency)
  • Let your yard care provider know that gas-powered equipment is harmful to their health (both hearing and lungs)
  • Add your name to our list of concerned Curtis Park neighbors – join our email list –>

Para continuar con el contacto con paisajistas de habla hispana, comuníquese con Nury Enciso (nuryenciso@gmail.com)

Sources: California Air Resources Board; Noise Free America; Washington Post 9/16/13; Earth911.com; Michael Benjamin, CARB via NPR 2/28/17; Hal Thomas phone noise meter; City of Sac Noise Ordinance for Lawn Equipment; Citizens For A Quieter Sacramento