November 24, 2021

Sustainable Princeton Launches Landscaping Equipment Transition Fund

To the Editor:

Sustainable Princeton is excited to announce that we have launched a Landscaping Equipment Transition Fund. The fund will assist small landscaping businesses operating in Princeton overcome the upfront capital costs of replacing their gas-powered equipment with less harmful, battery-powered equipment.

We aim to raise $35,000 and begin distributing reimbursements to landscapers by January 1, 2022. If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please make your contributions via the donate tab on our website. We have raised nearly $13,000 so far and need your help to reach our goal.

Over the past year, we have worked with many community partners on the Changing the Landscape: Healthy Yards = Healthy People/Cambiando el Paisaje: Jardines Sanos = Gente Sana project. The project was spurred by community pressure to eliminate the use of gas-powered landscaping equipment. Two-stroke gas-powered engines, which power most landscaping equipment, emit excessive emissions. These emissions are detrimental to landscapers’ health and contribute to poor local air quality and global climate change. The most egregious gas-powered equipment used by landscaping companies is leaf blowers.

Early in the project, we learned that the cost to transition to battery-powered equipment, necessitated by restrictions on the use of gas-powered equipment, is a serious concern for landscapers. Small, minority-owned landscapers were especially concerned. Despite advocacy at the state level, no incentives exist to offset the upfront capital costs. This fund will provide a meaningful reimbursement to local small businesses that complete a simple application and submit proof of purchase of qualifying equipment. Details and the application will be available on Sustainable Princeton’s website.

Please consider supporting this effort to improve the health of landscape workers and the environment. You can learn more about the Changing the Landscape Project at Look for the green “Donate” button in the upper right. Thank you.

Molly Jones
Executive Director, Sustainable Princeton