Members of the SCNA Board are working with neighbors to eliminate the use of gas-powered lawn equipment in our neighborhood. We invite you to embrace the lawn care evolution!
Why Ditch Gas-Powered Lawn Care?
- Reduce air pollution
- Quieter for you and your neighbors
- Protect the health of your lawn care worker, yourself, and your neighbors.
How to Make the Switch
- Ask your yard care provider to use electric equipment
- Seek an electric yard care provider
- Purchase your own electric equipment
- Share electric equipment with neighbors
- Go manual! Use a push 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)
- Share this flier with neighbors and landscapers.
- Add your name to our list of concerned Curtis Park neighbors – join our email list BELOW
- Gas leaf blowers emit CO, NOx, HC and PM, contributing to greenhouse gases and climate change
- 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 from direct release of tailpipe emissions
- The first thing we do, let’s kill all the leaf blowers (New York Times Editorial)
SCNA Workshop on Sustainable Grounds Maintenance Strategies
Leaf Blower Pollution
Air Pollution Effects on Kids
The City of Sacramento Noise Ordinance specifies that:
- Leaf blowers – gas and electric – must cease operation while the air quality index established by Sac Metro Spare the Air is 101 or higher.
- 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
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
- Quiet Communities
- American Green Zone Alliance
- Get Off My Lawn, How a small group of activists (our correspondent among them) got leaf blowers banned in the nation’s capital By James Fallows in The Atlantic
- Neighbor Kim Alexander’s Facebook post on the decibel sound difference between a gas-powered and an electric blower in Curtis Park. The decibel scale is logarithmic, therefore a small difference in decibels can mean a much larger difference in noise levels.
- Contact SCNA Neighborhood Concerns Committee members Kathy Les, Bruce Pierini, John Mathews, or Dan Pskowski.
- Local electric-only landscapers: Terrae Causa, Fresh Air Yardcare (no longer accepting new clients), Contact Kathy Les to be added to this list.
Statewide Advocacy Resources
- California Air Resources Board webpage on Zero-Emission Landscaping Equipment
- Fact sheet on small engine emissions, including gas-powered lawn equipment
- Summary report CARB issued on health effects suffered by operators of gas-powered lawn equipment
Para continuar con el contacto con paisajistas de habla hispana, comuníquese con Nury Enciso (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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