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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Leaf blowers contribute to greenhouse gases

The noise is annoying, the emitted pollution is even worse

Leaf blowers have been a concern of mine for quite some time. Yes, the noise is very annoying, but the amount of greenhouse gases they emit is truly staggering [“Noisy leaf blowers get a hearing,” NWFriday, Nov. 22].

Here is a quote from edmunds.com, which ran a comprehensive test on one of the biggest pickup trucks available today and a leaf blower

“The two-stroke leaf blower was worse still, generating 23 times the CO and nearly 300 times more non-methane hydrocarbons than the crew cab pickup. Let’s put that in perspective. To equal the hydrocarbon emissions of about a half hour of yard work with this two-stroke leaf blower, you’d have to drive a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor for 3,887 miles, or the distance from Northern Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.”

Maybe the parks department and others do need to use these this time of year, but what about the rest of the year? I regularly see commercial maintenance companies and yard services using them to blow minute amounts of material out of yards, parking lots and walkways. Often, someone from a neighboring lot blows it right back.

We and our neighbors to the north and south just signed an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Couldn’t we as Seattleites severely curtail our need to see temporarily pristine walkways, lawns, etc., in exchange for doing our part to limit global warming? We can also limit the time our cars are idling and make sure our tires are properly inflated — two other very easy ways to do something significant with very little effort.

— Shauna Bellamy, Seattle

Comments | More in Environment | Topics: environment, Leaf blowers, pollution

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