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I live in an area with huge oak trees, so leaf blowers are a real labor saving device when used in the fall (i.e. leaf raking season). I don't have any issues when the blowers are used to move leaves from the yard into the street during the fall. Unfortunately, several of my neighbors use leaf blowers year around.

The use of blowers in the hot and dry summer is a real annoyance, because of:

  • Air Quality. Using blowers in the dry summer significantly decreases air quality to the point that it is more comfortable to stay indoors with closed windows.
  • Noise. I like to eat on the deck, and this is not possible with the noise level of my neighbors blowers. Newer blowers models tend to be much quieter whereas my neighbors' are pretty loud.
  • It's more work for me. I don't have a blower, so I use a rake, broom, and dustpan to collect the loose yard debris and litter. Every time one of my neighbors uses a blower, I need to sweep my path again because they have blown derbies on it. In the end it'd be easier for me to simply sweep my neighbors' path to avoid their debris to end up on my yard.

My first attempt to address this issue was super awkward, but effective. One of my neighbors would consistently (6 days a week) use a blower for 15 to 20 minutes around dinner time. One day when she was using the blower, I grabbed a rake and broom from my garage. With the yard tools in hand, I approached her and said:

Hey, I notice that you have been using your blower a lot, and it is quite loud. Have you considered using some other types of tools to pick up the mess?

She was surprised that I could even hear her blower (even though she was wearing industrial hearing protection). I didn't expect the conversation to get that awkward, so I said, "Just letting you know, thanks", and then walked away. That was the last time I heard her using the blower, but the interaction was too awkward to attempt again with another neighbor. What did I do wrong in this interaction?

Our annual block party is coming up next month, and I think this might be a good time to address the use of blowers. Should I try to address this issue at the block party? How should I approach this issue?

It would be really convenient if everyone coordinated and used the blowers at the same time. I would very much prefer to hear 6 leaf blowers in unison for 20 minutes, than one leaf blower at a time for 2 hours. In the past my neighborhood has cooperated to thwart thieves and get rid of rats, is cooperation a possibility when it comes to the use of blowers?

closed as off-topic by avazula, Arwen Undómiel, Magisch, Flo, lukuss Aug 8 '18 at 11:38

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Asking "What should I do?" is off topic. - Questions should ask for help achieving a specific goal. Your question is asking for personal advice on "what to do" without defining a goal; this is too subjective. Edit your question to explain what you hope to achieve and how you would like to interact with the others involved." – avazula, Arwen Undómiel, Magisch, Flo, lukuss
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Hi there! As is, your question is likely to get closed for you're asking what you should do, which is off-topic on this stack. I'd recommend you edit your question accordingly to make it on-topic. What about "How to try to get my neighbors understand that their use of leaf blowers causes me trouble?" or something similar? – avazula Aug 8 '18 at 7:44
  • Hi @avazula. Thanks for making most of those edits, but I don't agree with the edit you made about air quality. It is not simply an issue of comfort. The fine airborne particulate from blowers causes irritation in my eyes, nose, and throat. Also, thanks for the suggestions about how to edit my question so that it is on topic. – Stephen Meschke Aug 8 '18 at 16:17
  • Oh, sorry I got you wrong. You're completely free to rollback to the previous version or edit the part that you do not agree with what I wrote :) – avazula Aug 9 '18 at 7:13
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Should I try to address this issue at the block party?

Definitely not, you don't want to bring it up and everyone hate on you at once. This will cause an awkward encounter and potentially change the mood of the party. Enjoy yourself and chill out during this.

everyone coordinated and used the blowers at the same time

If everyone else is using blowers it seems to be only you who isn't, and it doesn't seem as if anyone else is bothered by it, this just makes you seem like the bad guy. At the end of the day it is not illegal and theyre not doing anything wrong by doing so, you can't tell someone to not use one just because it bothers you. They're not doing any actual harm as its not waking you up in the morning nor is it stopping you from sleeping.

As for the first approach ending awkwardly that was inevitable you just basically told someone to not use a blower and to use manual tools instead. Luckily enough that neighbour was kind enough to do the same but you cannot guarantee that will be the same with everyone else.

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