Let's Ban Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers in Oregon = Better health for everyone/everything
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To the Oregon House Committee on Energy and Environment - this petition supports HB 3350: Relating to leaf blowers. Prohibits sale or use of two-cycle gasoline-powered leaf blowers in Oregon.
Oregonians should have the right to right to enjoy our own property, open our windows on a beautiful day, work quietly in our gardens and walk our dogs or exercise outside without landscapers' gas leaf blowers destroying the peace of our neighborhoods with their constant blasting of deafening noise, dangerous particulate matter, and carcinogenic exhaust.
Why is this important?
2-Stroke leaf blowers, which are omnipresent around Oregon, are 300X more polluting than a car in terms of ozone-causing pollution. The 2-stroke engine has been banned for every other use except lawn maintenance engines due to heavy lobbying by the landscaping industry. These have recently been banned in Washington, DC.
We need to get on board. In truth, all gas leaf blowers destroy our air quality and our rights as property owners. Thousands of studies proclaim the importance of time spent in nature for reducing anxiety and stress. Our yards used to offer tranquil stress reduction, but are now the source of noise and chaos in urban life. Green spaces are rendered uninhabitable by the roar, growl, wail and whine of constant leaf blower noise. Many once-peaceful neighborhoods, now sound like industrial zones-- without being zoned industrial. Homebuyers want peaceful, quiet neighborhoods and the noise pollution is bringing down our property values. If our peace of mind and health aren't important, what is?
Even a newer 2017 4-stroke gas leaf blower was recently tested emitting 50X more brain-damaging particulate pollutants than all the car engines in a busy intersection at rush hour. This particulate pollution ends up in children's lungs. Their developing lungs are permanently stunted and damaged. And consider the workers who carry these machines on their backs for 8 hours a day. What's in store for them? They're destroying their lungs and their eardrums when a rake or a broom would work just fine.
Smart sustainability means less focus on the perfect golf-course-style lawn. Wasteful lawns that sit unused in front of our homes use fossil fuels, chemical inputs, water and add tons of pollution. Dealing with fall leaves doesn't have to mean a loud polluting battle of roaring leaf blowers. We can all use wire composting bins. It's so easy; you hire the teenager down the street to RAKE your leaves into your bin and leaves turn into healthy soil and mulch by next year. Or, just leave the leaves to compost in place!
All this leaf blowing is meant to achieve a "perfectly manicured look" but the price we pay for a golf course type lawn is too high. Naturalistic landscaping is gorgeous and the best landscape designers understand the need for neat, tidy, native-plant yards that can be tranquil organic gardens without the need for polluting loud equipment. It's not necessary. Let's change the paradigm. Small changes for the better in landscaping can make a difference for all of us.
AGZA.net researches all the newest electric landscaping equipment and can help institute changes. Let's switch to the newest, quiet, battery-pack electric leaf blowers or bring back the rake for healthy exercise and embrace beautiful, naturalistic landscaping and less lawn.
Please support HB 3350 and moving towards a less toxic future.
For more information about HB 3350 - a measure to ban gas powered leaf blowers in Oregon, visit https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/HB3350
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