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Letter: Banning gas-powered lawn equipment will help Whistler’s climate goals

'Add up the numbers; banning the use of these machines will help in our goal of reducing GHG emissions.'
Is it time to ban gas-powered leaf blowers in Whistler?

To date, California, Washington, D.C., the city of Burlington, Vt., and perhaps other jurisdictions, have banned the sale of under-25-horsepower, gas-powered lawnmowers, leaf blowers and chainsaws.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) estimates one hour of lawn mowing is equivalent to driving a 2016 Toyota Camry about 500 kilometres, and one hour of leaf blowing is equivalent to driving the same car about 1,700 km.

One mower annually emits about 40 kilograms of CO2 and about 25 kg of other pollutants. Leaf blowers emit high levels of formaldehyde, benzene, fine particulate matter and smog-forming chemicals, which are known to cause dizziness, headaches, asthma attacks, heart and lung disease, cancer and/or dementia.

The EPA estimates non-road engines, such as those used in lawn equipment, are responsible for four to five per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

There is a constant parade of these, so called, landscape companies up and down my street emitting large quantities of these pollutants (as well as noise pollution) every summer.

I have read Whistler’s climate action report and saw no mention of any initiative to curtail these noxious greenhouse gas emitters. Did I miss it?

Add up the numbers; banning the use of these machines will help in our goal of reducing GHG emissions.

Daniel Jonckheere // Whistler

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