Attempting to relax on a Wednesday morning with the Glendale News-Press, I heard the neighbors’ gardeners cranking up their leaf blowers. That high-pitched whine reminded me of the one thing I abhor about Wednesdays. This is the day the gardeners descend upon our neighborhood with their leaf blowers.
Then, when I read down through the Forum section of the News-Press, my eye caught the words “leaf blowers” in the title of a letter by Mrs. Ahuda Gorman. A splendid coincidence! I thought only retirees like me understood the pernicious nature of these contraptions. Almost everybody else seems to be gone during weekdays when the gardeners arrive with these torture machines. Moreover, I thought that most of us oldsters feel too beaten down by the domination of machinery in our 21st-century lifestyle to breathe a word of protest. Now I find that a person has even started a website advocating the banning of leaf blowers. Yes, Mrs. Gorman, I’m with you all the way! These noxious machines are aggravating, unhealthful and harmful to the environment.
It seems, however, that gardeners are addicted to leaf blowers. True, they save a little time and they make plenty of noise, which presumably is considered “macho” by some who may be using them. But think of the disproportionate costs to the neighborhood and to society in general: 1) Air Pollution — I believe leaf blowers, along with power lawn mowers, are the number-one air pollution source in my neighborhood; 2) Noise Pollution — Obviously they are the number-one noise-polluter in almost any residential neighborhood; 3) Health Risks — They cause harmful effects to the health of the workers who use them; 4) Energy Costs — They expend nonrenewable fossil fuel foolishly; 5) Dirt and Dust Source — They send leaves and dirt into neighboring yards and clouds of dust into neighboring homes; 6) Bad for Plants — I watch gardeners blow nurturing organic matter from flower beds to make a garden look tidier.
So, what’s wrong with a rake and a broom? I, for one, am signing up for Mrs. Gorman’s protest movement.