By Jordan Laio, Hometalk
When the clocks switch back that means fall is here. For those who live in areas populated by deciduous trees, that means it will soon be leaf-wrangling season. Organically-oriented farmers and gardeners across the country will be hoarding this supply of free detritus and adding it to their compost piles. Others will be gathering this bounty of biological material and sending it to the dump.
Either way, the question comes up: How to wrangle those leaves?
Many people have answered that question with leaf blowers.
Now, there is an assumption in the “green” community that leaf blowers are evil incarnate, environmentally speaking.
Traditionally that may have been true. According to Wikipedia, leaf blowers were first introduced as “agricultural chemical spraying machines” and were later adapted to simply blow leaves. Their legacy was further besmirched because for many years leaf blower manufacturers employed noisy two-stroke, smoky, gas-powered engines.
This type is still sold today. For instance, the Husqvarna Gas Powered can be bought online for $180. The reason people still like them is their portability and ability to really get the job done. This is an especial boon for elderly homeowners who feel the need to do their own yard work and would be strained by using a rake, or by homeowners who need the range provided by a gas-powered blower.
However, because of the noise and pollution, leaf blowers have been banned outright in some cities and fall under noise regulations in many others (although apparently not everywhere – I can hear a leaf blower outside my residence as I type this, which is quite annoying). According to NoNoise.org, various regulatory bodies from the World Health Organization to city municipalities recommend an average daytime outdoor noise level of 55-60 dB. Traditional leaf blowers weigh in at 70-75 dB from 50 feet away.