Student addresses common autumn controversy: the use of leaf blowers
Loud but effective, hard on the ears, but easy on the back, leaf blowers are a faster alternative to raking.
Despite its pitfalls, the leaf blower has earned its spot as one of my favorite gas-powered yard maintenance tools.
Leaf blowers make sense; they require little work and they do their job with a greater speed than their back-paining counterpart, the rake.
The leaf blower will cut the time it takes to clear a lawn of leaves in half; it is a truly remarkable device.
While its benefits certainly should not be overstated, nor should its shortcomings. The leaf blower is loud. It is grating on the ears. Often powered by gas, it adds to the detriments on the environment.
I am a strong advocate of courteous leaf blower use. It is difficult to like the neighbor that uses his leaf blower at 8 a.m.
There are many hours of sunlight in the day; there is no reason to use the first several hours to clear your yard of leaves in the loudest way possible.
According to nonoise.org, a group of Sacramento citizens interested in banning leaf blowers, the “average leaf blower measures 70-75 [decibels] at 50 feet,” which is much louder than should be acceptable for ambient noise in public. For reference, a Boeing 737 taking off emits 80 decibels. While not in the range of harm-causing noise levels, leaf blowers can definitely be an annoyance.
While I believe that leaf blowers should not be banned, I must advise they be used conscientiously and courteously.
Always keep in mind the level of noise produced when you go to fire up the leaf blower.