Verdant Lawns, Quiet Neighborhoods and Public Health: Wellesley Starts a Conversation about Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
Amid a health crisis, three Wellesley organizations, the independent not-for-profit Sustainable Wellesley, Wellesley Natural Resources Commission and the Sustainable Energy Committee, have decided the time is right to address concerns about the use of gas-powered leaf blowers for routine landscaping. The conversation will begin on Tuesday, July 28, from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. with a Zoom panel discussion led by Jamie Banks, founder of Quiet Communities, Inc.
Some of the key concerns sparking the discussion: noise pollution that can lead to hearing loss; carbon emissions; dangerous exhaust and ground-sourced particulates from animal feces, bacteria, fungi, pollen, chemical lawn treatments; and damage to soil health and beneficial eco-systems.
Banks has worked with towns nationwide to shape strategies tailored to each community. In Lexington, that means phasing out municipal gas-powered equipment and replacing mowers, leaf blowers and other equipment with electric-powered alternatives. As the town transitions, the hope is that awareness will rise among homeowners who will adapt the same model. In Southampton, NY, all municipal properties are being transitioned to battery electric tools and certified as AGZA Green Zones®, meaning they are maintained routinely with low noise, zero emissions electric battery-powered equipment and manual tools.
“Every town has different needs and different concerns,” according to Banks, the environmentalist and health care scientist who founded Quiet Communities, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to protecting public health, the environment and quality of life by reducing noise and related pollution. “These conversations are helpful to determine which approach works in your community,” said Banks.
What’s Right for Wellesley?
Banks will be joined on the panel by Dan Mabe, founder of American Green Zone Alliance; Brendan McCue, Strategic Sourcing Manager at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Operational Services Division; and David Pinsonneault, Public Works Director for the Town of Lexington. All members of the community are welcome. Space will be limited so those interested in joining the conversation are urged to Register Today.