By Violet Wallerstein
Drew is proud of promoting sustainability, and yet during the fall, leaf blowers can be heard all over campus at various hours of the day. Leaf blowers are detrimental and do not serve a useful function other than making the campus look pretty.
Drew is spending lots of time, energy and money to push leaves all around campus. While it may be helpful to get the leaves off the path and out of the gutters of buildings, the leaf blowers do not need to be constantly running. Paying people to blow a few leaves off the path every day early in the morning is not beneficial. Blowing leaves this often does not allow a significant enough amount of leaves to build up to justify pushing them off the path. “Leaf the blowers alone,” an anonymous student said. Some students also find it enjoyable to step on crunchy leaves in the fall, and they’re depriving us of that opportunity.
Additionally, the noise pollution is a large issue. It for one disrupts the students and classes on campus that have to function with these loud blowers running all the time. It also upsets the wildlife on campus as it frightens the squirrels and birds and upsets the natural ecosystem. “I hate the leaf blowers. Every single day at 6 a.m. Those poor workers and the poor students. They don’t need to be up that early and neither do we. The poor bastards on the Hoyt roof,” an anonymous student reported.
Leaf blowers are fueled by gasoline which is an unsustainable fossil fuel. The fumes can be smelled nearby when the blowers are functioning. These fuels should not be being used so frequently for a nonessential task. It is increasing Drew’s carbon footprint which the university is trying to reduce to neutral by 2030. This would be a simple step to reducing fossil fuel use on campus even if it is not the most significant contributor.
Drew needs to reduce the amount of leaf blowers that are being used on campus. If the frequency of clearing the leaves was decreased it would reduce noise, costs and the amount of fossil fuels used by the campus.
Violet is a sophomore Biology major.
Graphic done by David Giacomini
Thank you so much for this great opinion piece. You are so right. These menacing machines are so unnecessary and so bad for our health, not to mention the worker’s health. If someone’s engaging in a type of “gardening” that causes, hearing loss, lung cancer, and dementia, then it’s time to re-think what’s going on. Check out the letter I wrote to lawmakers about leaf blowers. HERE: https://saveourpollinators.wordpress.com/2018/10/29/if-leaf-blowers-are-destroying-your-quality-of-life-please-write-a-letter-and-get-this-issue-on-lawmakers-radar/