Supporting Initiative Encouraging Move From Gas to Electric Powered Leaf Blowers
To the Editor:
I write in support of the initiative pursued by Quiet Princeton (quietprinceton.org) supported by Sustainable Princeton (sustainableprinceton.org), the Princeton Environmental Commission (princetonnj.gov/boards-committees/environmental-commission), and the Princeton Board of Health (princetonnj.gov/boards-committees/board-of-health), which strives to enhance the health and quality of life of our residents by encouraging the transition from gas powered landscaping tools to electric powered. This issue has appeared in the Town Topics Mailbox section on several prior occasions, but again deserves comment because the fall season is upon us which finds property owners, business and residence alike, attentive to leaf removal.
Some neighborhood homeowners apparently remove their home’s leaves weekly, thus seemingly nearly every day, including Sundays which are supposed to be a day free of commercial landscaping, and a symphony of dueling leaf blowers is heard around town. Perhaps since more Princetonians are spending more time at home because of the pandemic, there is heightened awareness of the noise and air pollution that gas powered landscaping equipment generate. This should encourage us to bring this concern to those town officials who can enact legislation to address this issue. (Email addresses of Princeton Council members are available at princetonnj.gov/council).
Inspired by dozens of successful municipal actions that have literally changed the landscape in California and other states, Quiet Princeton is pursuing both an appeal campaign to discourage use of highly polluting two-cycle gas engine lawn maintenance tools and also potential legislative action to ensure that this change occurs. Electric leaf blowers are competitively priced and are as powerful as gas powered devices, so there is minimal economic penalty for converting to non-polluting leaf removal devices (although professional landscapers will need to have backup batteries to keep their devices running at length).
Town officials respond to commentary from citizens. Thus like-minded residents are encouraged to contact our leaders to express these concerns.