For years I landscaped with the loud, angry, grinding sound of a gas-powered hedge trimmer, line trimmer, blower, mower, chainsaw, or other obnoxious-sounding contraption. While these devices can power through a site in no time, what is the cost of doing so?
One cost is to the public peace. Who hasn’t been grated by the irritating buzzing of one of these machines. An otherwise quiet, peaceful day is suddenly drowned out by the noisy drone of machinery.
How are your neighbours dealing with the sound of that mower in your front yard? Maybe one of them is nursing a migraine headache. Maybe someone’s in the middle of an important call and is trying to hear someone on the other end of the phone. Or maybe it’s someone’s day off and all they want to do is find a nice, quiet corner of life to read a book in peace.
I’ve repeatedly seen how agitated these tools make people and ultimately decided that for this reason alone they deteriorated the health and well-being of communities.
Another cost is to public health. In 2011, Health Canada reported that 5,900 Canadians die every year from air pollution. That’s a lot of people, especially when we consider that a lot of air pollution is easily avoidable.
Jim Hamm’s NFB documentary The Air We Breathe (an eye-opening must see for anyone concerned about pollution and their health) notes that two-stroke engines are ELEVEN TIMES more polluting than a car!!!
That is mind-boggling. You could drive nearly half the day before polluting as much as one of these small engines does in a single hour. To make matters worse, it’s common for landscaping companies to run multiple two-stroke engines simultaneously for hours a day. That adds up to an enormous amount of pollution going into the air and down our lungs.
All of this means that if you want to walk lighter on the planet, it’s more important to choose a gas-free gardening company than to drive less. It’s something we often don’t think about. I was flabbergasted to discover this. It’s a big reason why Peace Garden is committed to using silent gardening practices combined with quieter battery-powered tools.