Leaf Blowers Are Harmful To The Environment

Ever wonder IF leaf blowers are harmful to the environment? It is not a question of “IF” Unquestionably YES!.

Leaf blowers are harmful to the environment. Wreaking havoc, one manicured lawn at a time. In the growing months this is millions of lawns every daylight hour.

When you’re operating a leaf blower, this inefficient noisy machine is spraying 30% of its unspent fuel into the atmosphere. Leaf blowers spew out high levels of non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) and Carbon Monoxide (CO). That’s why when operating a leaf blower you can taste its exhaust. Operators are doing shooters of gasoline. Even your nearby neighbors can taste it in the air. That can’t be good. no matter how you cut it.

Did you know that the non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) exhaust of a two-stroke leaf blower equals the same pollution of 300 Ford Raptor Trucks or 93 Fiat 500s? The Ford Raptor truck is a 6200-pound truck compared to your lightweight 15-pound leaf blower but is only one three-hundredth as harmful. That’s 1.86 million pounds of trucks emitting the same exhaust as your 15-pound leaf blower.

Ford RaptorFiat_500     

Just image a tall stack of Ford Raptors or Fiat 500s in your yard as you’re blowing flecks of leaves and grass clippings around your yard to make it look like a professional putting green.  So instead, pull out a rake and get some honest exercise. Leaf blowers are incredibly harmful to the environment but thankfully there are still relatively only a few 10’s of millions in operation.

Exhaust comparison

It may seem harsh, but Green Blizzard is suggesting that if you have any connection to one, and you want to green your lifestyle, simply cut all ties. In my fashionable neighborhood, every Friday afternoon in the warmer months a horde of lawnmowers and leaf blowers descend on my block, starting at one end and wrapping around to the next block. For the next hour or so, the whining of leaf blowers fills the air with noxious gasses and unlivable noise levels. These machines operated by trigger happy workers pulse like the cicadas. You can practically taste their presence.

Cut The Cord

If you either own a leaf blower or have a lawn service that manicures your lawn eliminate any use of it on your property.  It’s that serious.

Granted leaf blowers have a useful purpose, but the lifestyle value: environmental impact is way off balance.

Consider These Options

If you think you can get by without using one…

1 – Reconsider ownership – sell it on Craigslist or donate it.

2 – Talk to your lawn service provide and insist that they employ other methods to get the job done.   There is a heavy, long-term environmental price for having your lawn looking perfectly manicured for a short period of time.

If you absolutely need a leaf blower, purchase an electric one.
Why Leaf Blowers Are Harmful To The Environment

Most leaf blowers and lawnmowers are simple, cheap, ineffective two stroke engines, designed for mass production.  A recent Washington Post article explained the mechanics of these handheld polluters. 

Other related Green Blizzard articles on home energy efficiency: Energy Efficient Windows, Water Conservation Around The House, Living Sustainably In An Apartment, and Gift Ideas For A Green Handyman.


About the author

Keith Blizzard

A life-long environmentalist, Keith set out on the never ending journey of adjusting his lifestyle to a more sustainable one, with a goal of annually shrinking his carbon footprint. When he looked around for a dependable source of meaningful carbon footprint reduction ideas, it was pretty lame - so he launched Green Blizzard loaded with eco-friendly lifestyle tweaks. When he's not managing Green Blizzard, you'll find him on the trails around Mid Coast Maine with his trusty trail companion mutt, Moose.