On the rare mornings when my young girls sleep in (and let my wife and I sleep in, too!), we often are woken by the aggressive hum of gas-powered lawn tools, cutting, trimming, blowing. I know, in this challenging pandemic time with its slew of challenges, lawn care noise hardly deserves our attention. Or does it?
Lawn and garden care account for about 1/3 of non-highway gas use nationwide and slightly more in Washington State (as per 2018: www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2018/mf24.cfm). Electric lawn tools work great, are quickly approaching cost of use similar to gas, and are pretty quiet. California has just passed a statewide law (www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2021/10/12/california-newsom-law-equipment-pollution/) to phase out gas-powered lawn equipment by 2024—and they’ve allocated $30 million to help.
Several states and numerous local jurisdictions have taken similar steps. This will reduce contributions to global warming, improve local air quality, and reduce urban noise pollution. With the many professionals hired to keep Edmonds beautiful and many forward looking home gardeners, we are in a great position to use economic incentives, city contracts, and a transition period to take one significant step towards reducing our global warming pollution: phase out gas-powered lawn and garden tools and let’s all sleep a little better.