Leaf Blowers and Climate Change

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Hydrocarbons and other VOCs contribute to the formation of ozone by increasing the amount of nitric dioxide in the air, which then combines with oxygen molecules to produce nitrogen and ozone, both greenhouse gasses. Nitrogen oxide has 300 times more heating power than carbon dioxide. Carbon monoxide is only a very weak direct greenhouse gas, but has important indirect effects on global warming. Carbon monoxide reacts with hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere, reducing their abundance. As hydroxyl radicals help to reduce the lifetimes of strong greenhouse gases, like methane, carbon monoxide indirectly enlarges the global warming potential of these gases.[Respiratory Health]

1.6 million landscaping and groundskeeping workers were counted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, and the number is still growing.[Nat. Ass. of Landscape Professionals]

Thousands of landscaping companies drive around our county to offer homeowners landscaping services. Their service generally consists of mowing, blowing and the application of fertilizers and pesticides. All these ‘conventional’ services have, in their own ways, a negative impact on our environment, our biodiversity, our health and our climate [HY]

Sustaining and restoring this natural habitat is essential for the preservation of biodiversity and climate resilience. Conventional landscaping services are doing the opposite: they promote the use of exotic turf grasses and exotic plant species, they annihilate wildlife habitat, intoxicate the soil and our waterways with pesticides and fertilizers and they create a landscape with little capacity for drainage, and enhanced sensitivity to drought and climate events. [HY]