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Give Electric Yard Tools A Chance

Annie Rush
Ridgewood Resident  
Once the weather turns cool and leaves start shedding off the trees, the cacophony of leaf blowers can be heard from miles around.  Not only do they cause noise pollution for your fellow neighbors, but gas-powered blowers have highly inefficient engines that produce polluting GHG emissions that contribute to global warming. While it’s hard to eliminate yard work from our lives entirely, electric landscaping tools (not the plug-in kind, but the cordless battery kind) can help to mitigate both the noise and the emissions. For those up for a little extra physical activity, the time-tested rake, is the best solution to this problem, although electric landscaping tools are good start! 
Electric leaf blowers and lawn mowers are quieter, cleaner (they pollute less), and are easier to start-up than traditional gas-powered tools. Just insert the battery, press the button, and go! Because they don’t rely on fossil fuels directly, there are fewer carbon emissions or risk of gas leaks in your garage or shed.  
We say fewer emissions, because depending on where the electricity you used to charge your electric leaf blower comes from (hydro, wind, nuclear, or oil-derivative), the act of charging your device is an indirect source of emissions in itself. If you want a truly emission-free electric leaf blower, you might want to consider changing your household electricity plan to a clean energy provider. Furthermore, battery-powered tools also have a built-in safety feature where they will shut off automatically if the switch is released to avoid accidents and injuries. 
Manufacturers offer a variety of landscaping/maintenance tools that use the same batteries interchangeably, which is an added convenience and cost-saving in the long run. You can even buy a battery-powered snow blower, just in time for the winter season! The batteries come with a plug-in charging base and can be recharged for years and years.  
Another perk is that rechargeable batteries can be recycled when they come to the end of their useful life, which keeps them out of the landfill. You can’t put them in a normal recycling bin (then they will become landfill and the toxic chemicals they contain can leech into the environment), but you can drop them off at a designated recycling location or during a hazardous waste disposal event. You can find a drop off location near you here
If you want to see what neighboring towns are up to take a look at this website from Montclair.   

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