Gas-powered leaf blowers will be banned year-round from Maplewood Township, beginning January 1, 2023. The decision passed unanimously, following years of partial bans and countless hours of passionate conversation among the public.

What Maplewood is on to and what I hope Montclair will soon realize, is that it is urgent that we move away from fossil fuels. These gas-guzzling machines are simply too polluting, and they are decimating the quickly dwindling bird and beneficial insect populations. Biodiversity is at serious risk. Humans, especially the workers that run them, animals and our air are all at risk. The noise is deafening and the particulates that are stirred up are extremely detrimental to our health.

Electric-powered leaf blowers and other electric landscape machinery are good enough. And of course, there is always raking. Or if you really feel inspired to help the planet, you can leave your leaves, or at least keep them all on your property and just use them as mulch.

Consider planting only plants native to our area, which is a tremendous boon to the recovery of biodiversity.

Please be a good neighbor and make the right choice for our planet. Please ask your landscaper to stop using gas powered leaf blowers.

Leah Katz

This letter has been updated at the request of the author.

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