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?