If asked, the average person would most likely say they care about the environment and they care about their children’s future — especially in our “liberal” enclave of Montclair.

Personally, I am confused by this. I no longer think that people don’t have the information or understand. We live in a town with educated and privileged people making choices daily that knowingly cause harm to our planet.  In order to mitigate climate change, help maintain biodiversity and keep all living things heathy we have to stop burning so much fossil fuel. Gas-powered leaf blowers create as much pollution in 30 minutes as driving a pickup truck 1,000 miles.

Gas leaf blowers spew carbon particulates, emit noise that is deafening, exacerbate asthma and other respiratory illnesses, ruin insect and bird populations and more. Most of us won’t stop driving cars or heating and cooling our homes, all which burn fossil fuel. But giving up leaf blowers is low-hanging fruit. It’s one of the easiest things we can do to help combat climate change and the biodiversity crisis. There are so many quiet and clean alternatives. And if we "leave the leaves" in our gardens we save on fertilizer and mulch costs.

So even though they are now permitted in Montclair until May 15, please take this small step and ask your landscaping company to stop using them. It's the kindest choice for you, your neighbors, your children, and our fragile world.

Leah Katz


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