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Letters to the Editor Templates

Often dismissed as a trivial concern of busybodies, banning leafblowers is anything but. Short-term GLB exposure is directly linked to asthma, cancer, and mortality. They’re an eco-disaster contributing to mass insect die-off and declining numbers of birds because they blast insects, soil biodiversity, and habitats at speeds of up to 200 mph. Their two-stroke engine is a major emitter of carbon dioxide and PM2.5; one hour of use emits as much smog as a car driving 1,100 miles at 55 mph. Leaf blower noise is deafening -- literally. It can reach 115 decibels while permanent hearing loss can occur at 85 dB.

I’m often told that I’m harming the workers who use these to “make a living”, when in fact those that provide the demand for this service are harming operators by forcing them to inhale pollutants and damage their hearing. I should not be held hostage in our yard, breathing in mold, feces, and heavy metals, because an ACTUAL busybody is worried about a few leaves in their yard. It is the literal definition of “selfish” to use a leaf blower; disrupting the peace, creating pollution, harming users and bystanders alike, and destroying wildlife, all in pursuit of outdated and misguided yard practices.

Stop using leafblowers; stop asking lawn crews to use them. Make sure they continue to make a living by paying the same amount. If moving dust and leaf bits around is essential to your happiness, then pay the price for this service and stop externalizing the harmful effects of cancer-causing machines onto your neighbors. Write your local city and county officials and ask them to prioritize your, and your children’s, health instead of moving bits of leaves by banning these machines.

In the face of catastrophic climate change, this is an action you can do that will actually MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Dirty air causes 7 million premature deaths per year. Miami and New Orleans are likely to be underwater in our childrens’ lifetime; we’re experiencing a biological annihilation in a mass global extinction event caused by human activity; hundreds of millions of people will be made refugees due to water stress. In the face of this overwhelming information, it is hard to know what to do. This is a start.


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