Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Dreaded Leaf Blower.

They are deafening...
They put off noxious fumes...
They contribute to noise pollution...
They don't actually do anything...

Leaf blowers. They are the bane of my existence.
Let's examine what the leaf blower actually does. They use gasoline or electricity to power a tiny motor, which then blasts a steady force of air to move grass clippings, dirt and leaves. The last time I checked, the wind does that for free. Much less, the terrible cacophony that leaf blowers emit is dreadful. Here, just listen in this video below. I feel nothing but compassion for this victim, whom is unable to sleep because of a leaf blower.

Yeah -- sucks, doesn't it? And yet, what is the operator of that leaf blower actually doing?

Nothing. Absolutely, positively N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

The average noise level from all gasoline leaf blowers clocks in at 70 to 75 decibels when heard from fifty feet away (though, many models erupt noise levels as high as 90 decibels). Electric leaf blowers are even louder. As you get closer, the impact of that noise only grows exponentially. Mind you, the World Health Organization suggests that normal daytime noise levels should be around 55 decibels. I don't have to explain to you how loud leaf blowers are. Surely, you've heard a leaf blower in use -- perhaps by your local municipality, a neighbor, a lawn maintenance crew or outside a commercial business. That noise is obnoxious. Doesn't it drive you insane?

Not only do they create noise pollution, but leaf blowers also create a lot of air pollution. The exhaust that comes from one hour of leaf blower use is the same amount as that coming from a car driven one hundred miles. Even worse, leaf blowers have been proven to spread diseases through the air. Their powerful wind blasts kick fungi, bacteria, fecal matter, waste particulates, fertilizers and pesticides into the atmosphere -- which we then inhale. That's right -- leaf blowers make you breathe in poop.

Now tell me... what does a leaf blower do that a simple rake can not? A rake only costs you once (no gasoline or electricity required), gives you more control over where you can move debris and doesn't take a lot of effort to use. As to the notion that a leaf blower moves leaves faster than a rake... that's total horse manure. Watch this.

As far as I'm concerned, the leaf blower is a useless piece of machinery. Landscaping companies use them to make it appear like they're doing work. Yet, they're actually just wasting time and getting paid for free. Those lazy bums walk around with their leaf blowers, blowing dirt and grass into the street. And for what? The wind will remove that debris in a day or two. Even if it didn't get moved, is it actually hurting anything?

Corporations actually have most of us fooled into thinking the leaf blower is a tool we never knew we needed.

These assholes could just use a quiet and efficient rake, but that might actually require some effort.

To summarize -- the leaf blower is a superfluous thorn in the side of modern society.
  • They're a crutch for landscapers, groundskeepers and municipal workers to promote the illusion of work, while not actually doing anything.
  • Rakes are a faster and cheaper tool that anyone can use.
  • They create noise and air pollution.
  • They make us sick.
If you own a leaf blower, do yourself a favor and drop it off at your local dump. Buy yourself a rake, would you?

1 comment:

  1. To some degree I agree with what you're saying, but I maintain that leaf blowers (particularly blower/vacs) are effective when used properly and responsibly. First off it's important to note that electric blowers are far quieter than gas blowers, perhaps not markedly so, but it's a distinction that needs to be made given that most people are irritated by 'professionals' using gas blowers. Secondly, if used properly (and only with the minimum power setting needed to shift the leaves), leaves can be 'backed into a corner' effectively with a leaf blower. Things really come into their own if the blower is also a vacuum, as it can not only pick the leaves up but dice them too. The neat package of material you're left with is then already half way to compost. Now that has to be quicker and more effective than raking alone!