Here’s a letter to the editor written by Karen Bray, inspired by Andy Levin’s Newton Tab Op-Ed about the proposed leaf blower ban, in this week’s Newton Tab.  This letter was posted on the Newton Lower Falls listserv and kicked off a big flurry of responses from neighbors – everything from wholehearted agreement to vehement disagreement.

I asked my neighbor across the street, who has been using Mo Blow and Go Guys for many years, if he would be willing to try a Green Landscaper who rakes, or would he be willing to ask his traditional leaf blowing landscaper if he would consider raking.

I don’t know this neighbor very well, and, in spite of that, he offered to try the Eco-Friendly and Neighbor-Friendly Landscaper who rakes instead of using gas-powered leaf blowers.

After some time I asked him how the price and results compared:

He said Michael DeLacey of GoGreen Landscapers is CHEAPER! and the results are excellent.  Michael and Company have a thriving business in Newton and have been landscaping in Newton for at least 8 years.

So, the standard refrain from traditional landscapers that they would have to charge exorbitant rates is just NOT true.

I have a list of at least 8 Green Landscaping companies who work and thrive in Newton without using gas-powered leaf blowers. With a ban, if all landscape companies jump on board, there will plenty of work for all companies and no unreasonable penalty for consumers. A ban will level the playing field and make life tolerable for the rest of us who work at home. Our small businesses are being impacted by leaf blowers: we can’t read, think, make intricate decisions, talk with clients or problem solve when our fight or flight mechanism is constantly triggered by leaf blowers. So, other small home businesses, a number which is constantly growing in Newton, are experiencing an unreasonable financial penalty now.

Some Green Landscapers use the occasional small electric leaf blower. But electric leaf blowers in the hands of many traditional landscapers who do not care about neighbors can be horribly loud. Most electric blowers are just as loud and still stir up nasty dust, fecal matter, asphalt bits, and fine particulate matter that lodges in our children’s lungs.

Karen Bray