There is a movement to just let leaves lay where they fall instead of trying to clean them all up. Leaves provide shelter for insects that wintering animals depend on, as well provide nutrition to your yard. Mulch them, don't collect them.
The flier below can be used to help educate others who may not see the negative impacts of gas-powered leaf blowers. How bad are they? Bad enough that other states will follow California's lead in banning them!
The fliers below (English & Spanish) can be handed out to your landscaper. Ask them to use electric lawn equipment in lieu of gas-powered equipment. (Hey, it's better for their health, too!)
Wirecutter puts the top 6 leaf blowers to a test. What are the results? Read the article below.
(Lifted from Margaret at A Way to Garden firstname.lastname@example.org)
🦚 Identify some areas that can be left “messy,” particularly fallen leaves left in place under native trees and even a brush pile–to act as essential habitat for overwintering beneficials, from moths and butterflies to spiders and more. Leaf litter is prime habitat for many important creatures that can help us with pollination and pest control as adults next year. I don’t rake the looser outer beds at my place, or mow down my meadow till sometime next May, for example. How and why to back off too-tidy cleanup, from Doug Tallamy, author of “Nature’s Best Hope.” (available at the Altadena Main Library)
🦚 Leave especially ornamental or wildlife-friendly plants standing. Don’t act as if you’re vacuuming the living room; clean up beds tactically for maximum enjoyment by you and the birds. (If you also put up bird feeders in fall and winter, here are my basic tips for that.)
🦚 Remove sickly things first. Destroy the debris to minimize next year’s issues with squash bugs, cabbage worms, and other pests and diseases. Like this.
🦚 Stabilize woody plants: Identify any vulnerable limbs, removing broken or dead branches now to make sure winter weather doesn’t worsen things. Pruning 101.
🦚 With the leaves you do need to rake up, start a leaves-only compost pile. Once crumbly after aging in a heap, they make great mulch, or can be turned into beds to add organic matter. Again, though: leave as many leaves in place as you can.
🦚 Late-season lawncare: Do your heavy raking now—not in spring—and overseed if there’s still time where you live. Here’s why that’s smart (hint: it helps prevent weeds later). Topdress with a half- or three-quarter-inch layer of compost onto thin or trampled areas.
🦚 Protect or store weather-vulnerable pots and the tender plants in them: At a minimum, move pots under cover, where they will dry off (to minimize heave/thaw effects of weather). More tricks on weather-proofing and overwintering pots are in this story, with Ken Druse. How to stash non-hardy plants is at this link (with some extra details below, in the “overwintering tender plants” section).
🦚 Weed! Besides cleaning up around diseased plants, this is a giant “must.” Even if you can’t weed, exactly, deadhead your weeds now and discard the seeds. Fewer seeds now, fewer weeds next year.
Popular misconceptions about leaf blowers include:
We hope to address some of these misconceptions on this page. Please reach out with your tips, thoughts and ideas on how to help educate the public (and our elected leaders!)
There are just as many studies on the impacts of using gas powered leaf blowers as there are types of leaves! The fact remains that using a gas powered leaf blower is a polluting beast compared to other types of lawn equipment.
A popular misconception is that banning gas powered leaf blowers will harm workers who use them, and impact a business's ability to survive. Industries that engage in and rely upon fracking (for natural gas), drilling for oil, or even mining for coal, are slowly fading away. Industries utilizing renewable energy are growing exponentially. Those that choose to switch from harmful energy sources to alternative, healthier sources are finding success in this growing market. Businesses who are "going green" are flourishing in this changing market as more and more municipalities and residents want healthier alternatives.
Our Green West Orange is joining the Quiet Communities movement in an effort to create an even safer, healthier and more equitable township. We are advocating for a ban on using gas-powered leaf blowers within West Orange. Please sign and share our petition, complete with links to local officials who can support and pass such an ordinance.
The flier is available as a download below, complete with more information.
Our Green West Orange is joining the Quiet Communities movement in an effort to create an even safer, healthier and more equitable township. We are advocating for a ban on using gas-powered leaf blowers within West Orange. Please sign and share our petition, complete with links to local officials who can support and pass such an ordinance. The flier is available as a download below, complete with more information. For information, visit our Leaf Blower page HERE. Please take a moment to sign our petition by clicking the button below.
What began as local municipalities banning gas-powered leaf blowers has become entire states working towards similar initiatives. California is leading the way, and now Washington, D.C. has upped the ante in this Climate Emergency fight! A valid concern is for businesses who use, repair, and sell gas-powered lawn equipment. Check out our Leaf Blower Page for information addressing how these bans are good for the industry.