Lawnmowers, Leaf Blowers, Noise, and Bad Attitudes

I like a nice lawn as much as the next person, I really do. That said, I do not like doing the work make a nice lawn. As I like to say, when I was a teenager I mowed the lawn, raked the leaves, and chopped up stumps and I think I filled my quota.

But this week, nice lawns have really tried my patience. The weather is nice, so starting last weekend, it seems many of the neighbors were out mowing grown, running edgers, and blasting their leaf blowers. Then when I got to work, the problem continued with the landscaping crew on campus. They seem to cut, recut, and then cut the grass again. What little lull there would be between the mowings, they filled it with leaf blowers.

The noise was horrific. I am not a fan of loud noises, nor am I a fan of constant noise whether it be leaf blowers or a piece of broken machinery. I was fortunate in that I did have my Apple AirPods Max and they dulled the noise enough to make it tolerable, but I would still rather not have the noise.

We may not think much about noise, but if you stop and think about it, I suspect you will be like me and find that the amount of noise you encounter during takes a toll on your emotions, mood, and thinking. I know it does mine. During those days with non-stop noise, I find I am short with loved ones, intolerant of others, and tend to be less deliberative before making decisions.

And its not just the noise that’s troublesome. An EPA study found that in 2011 Gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment (GLGE) emitted approximately 6.3 million tons of VOCs, 20.4 million tons of CO2. Lawn care was also responsible for 20,700 tons of PM10 particulate matter of which 19,000 tons was PM2.5). It is bad enough trying to function with pollen allergies but to then have this equipment stir it up even more and emit so much PM2.5 particulate, just makes it worse.

We need to take care of our lawn—well, we want to take care of them—so banning GLGE is not in the cards. But, perhaps we could move to some quieter electric/battery operated equipment. We just might be able to mow a little less often and try to do that during the times when it is least disturbing to people.

As for those people who spend all day working in their yards, all I can do is confess confusion. I understand wanting a nice yard so you can enjoy it. But when all of your free time is spent taking care of the yard, I don’t see much time left for enjoyment.


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