Sheltered in Place, Surrounded by Leaf Blowers

In the “Before Times”—pre-pandemic—no one liked leaf blowers then, either. But many people really didn’t know how much they pervaded and disrupted their own neighborhood, Monday through Friday, while they were off at work.

Many just wrote a check to a landscaping company every month, and once a week came home to a tidy yard. They never heard the noise from the leaf blowers that cleared their property. But many of their neighbors did—the ones who work from home, and retired people, and those who work evenings or night shifts, people at home recovering from an illness, caregivers, toddlers and kids too young for school, and kids home from school in the afternoon trying to concentrate on their homework.

…..Many more people [now] are stuck at home during the week. They, too, are forced to live among the leaf blowers.

But now that the pandemic has forced so many people to work from home (or worse, put them out of work), many more people are stuck at home during the week. They, too, are forced to live among the leaf blowers. They’re realizing that the whining, revving, obnoxious cacophony isn’t something that comes and goes in 15 minutes—it rises up here, and there, and everywhere, invading our houses and our heads over and over, near every day, as one crew after another fires up another blower to do war on … leaves.

So many more of us are home, trying to work because the office is closed, trying to study because classrooms are shut, trying to meet on zoom or talk on the phone with family, or just reading a book, working on a project, or trying to stay sane in these crazy times. So many more understand now how gas-powered leaf blowers are just too loud and too polluting to be used where people live and breathe. We hope our city council members are listening, too.

Maybe it’s one reason C.H.A.S.E. Santa Cruz is seeing growing support. We’re grateful for the added awareness, and we hope you’ll donate some of your time or skills to our campaign. You can read about ways you can help here, and you can reach out to us directly if you’re willing to take an active role in the group.

And a quick announcement:  we’re working on a poster, like a yard sign but something that can be put in windows and also printed on flyers to help spread the word and encourage cleaner and quieter alternatives. We’d like the help of an artist or illustrator who can draw a compelling graphic for the poster. If that’s you or someone you know, please let us know!

Thanks to all of you who have joined our group or subscribed to our updates since we took our website live. Please help us spread the word to your Santa Cruz friends and neighbors!