Posts tagged gas-powered blowers

Blown Away

“Don’t blow it – good planets are hard to find.”Unknown

There’s no denying it: Fall is approaching quickly, and with that cool, crisp change in the air, leaves begin to high-tail it off tree branches.

While the red, orange and golden leaves do make a beautiful sight, they also clutter yards. For most people, firing up their leaf-blowers is the easiest, most efficient way to pile their leaves and make their lawns a bit less messy. Unfortunately, using leaf-blowers means sacrificing a healthy environment for a quick fix.

Gas-powered leaf-blowers pollute the air, just as any gas-powered invention does. According to a Reuters blog, “in one year, the average blower used by a professional gardener emits as much smog-forming pollution as 80 new cars, each driven 12,500 miles.” But the pollution doesn’t stop there.  Not only do these blowers produce foul chemical emissions, but they also stir up mold and other allergens that were trapped in the decomposing leaves. Several California communities have even placed bans on gas-powered blowers, as well as offered an exchange program to get those polluters off the yards.

But there is good news: This blower debacle is nothing that a little old-fashioned exercise can’t fix. In a study examining particulate emission (the fine liquid or solid particles discharged with exhaust gases) rates from leaf-blowers, researchers found that raking leaves did not generate significant amounts of the nasty debris. Horticulture agent Maggie Shao says,Raking leaves is generally a good practice of sanitation, that is cleaning up possibly diseased leaves or preventing a dark, warm environment for diseases and pests to develop and create problems in the spring for new tender growth.” So, as you’re keeping your yard healthy, you’re also keeping the air healthy.

And that’s not the only health benefit: Raking leaves will help to get your heart rate pumping and to tone your body. According to AARP.com, “A 135-pound person could burn about 240 calories raking leaves for an hour.” That’s quite a few calories for just tidying up your yard, and all you need is a rake. Good rakes are made with high-carbon steel. The type of rake you need will depend on the type of clean-up job you have to do. Adjustable rakes are great for big-yard cleanups, but they can also work well for digging leaves out of shrubbery. The “Cleanup Rake” is also versatile and can be used for picking up both wet and dry leaves.

Whatever style you choose, the important thing to keep in mind is that by raking, you’re taking one step toward cleaning up not only your yard, but also the environment. That is something you should really fall in love with.

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