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Are leaf blowers harmful to the environment? All disadvantages at a glance

Are leaf vacuums and leaf blowers harmful to the environment? 10 disadvantages and reasons for more sustainable alternatives

Wondering whether leaf vacuum cleaners and leaf blowers are harmful to the environment? Then you've come to the right place! An idyllic autumn morning: the fresh wind whistles through the avenue, the colorful leaves sail from the trees and it rustles wonderfully as you stroll along the footpath. But then the natural soundscape is suddenly interrupted by the howling of the "leaf removers with combustion engines" that have been criticized. They are not really that popular - but they are still owned by countless people and companies. And what about their sustainability?

In this article, I would like to introduce you to 10 disadvantages of leaf blowers and vacuum cleaners that make them harmful companions. For people, animals and the environment in general. Let's go!

In advance here is already a short Overview for you:

  1. Volume
  2. Animals lose their protection
  3. The food of animals is contaminated
  4. Odor nuisance
  5. Animals are sucked up and shredded
  6. Increasing air pollution
  7. Prevention of humus formation
  8. Risk of soils drying out
  9. The devices are expensive
  10. No need

1. leaf blowers are sound blowers

Let's start with the most obvious: leaf blowers are extremely loud and disturb the peace and quiet of people and animals in the surrounding area. According to the BUND Nature Conservation in Bavaria e.V. produce a sound level of over 100 decibelswhich roughly corresponds to the background noise of a jackhammer.₁

The Federal Immission Control Act therefore even stipulates that the devices may only be used on weekdays from 9 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm. There are some special regulations and exceptions, but basically this law should make it clear how unpleasantly loud leaf blowers are.

2. leaf blowers destroy the shelter of ANIMALS

Many people may be disturbed by the "untidy" sight of leaves on a green lawn or in the driveway - but for dozens of animals, it is a Protection against cold or predators essential for survival. Hedgehogs, toads, newts, shrews, spiders, ladybugs, caterpillars, moths and countless other micro-organisms need it.₂ This is another reason why you should do without the appropriate equipment and dispose of the foliage in the sense of a sustainable garden just leave it on the grass.

3. leaf blowers deprive animals of their food

Among other things, the animals just mentioned feed on the leaves and everything that hides underneath them. From Nuts, branches and plant parts through to the components of the top layer of soil. Anyone who uses a leaf vacuum inevitably destroys the food and survival source of countless animals at an inopportune time before hibernation.

4. leaf blowers stink

The engine of conventional leaf blowers and vacuum cleaners burns gasoline and oil. So it's no wonder that, in addition to the noise, the Odor nuisance in the immediate vicinity and, above all, for the user himself is one of the absolute disadvantages of the devices. Yet another decisive reason why leaf blowers are harmful to the environment.

5. leaf vacuums suck up animals and SChred them

Hedgehogs hide in the foliage

Why should leaf vacuum cleaners be banned or simply dispensed with? Because they not only remove the leaves inside them, but also shred many insects and other animalsthat stay in the foliage. But what about the blowers, aren't they better? They also simply blow away and kill the many small animals, larvae and plants. If we do that Stop global species extinction If we want to achieve this, we need to be careful - even with the barely visible fauna.

6. leaf blowers pollute the air

The exhaust fumes from "extremely convenient" garden technology not only stink: they are also really unhealthy. The combustion engines emit exhaust gases such as Hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide and thus contribute significantly toair pollutionand health hazards to life in the user's surroundings, which are usually already heavily polluted in urban areas. Last but not least, leaf blowers stir up fine dust, tire abrasion and other pollutants that have already settled on the ground.

Tip: What we can all do to combat air pollutionyou can find out in the linked article.

7. leaf blowers prevent soil formation

Leaves, branches and twigs are therefore extremely valuable for nature, because it produces valuable humus soil in spring. If you prevent the natural material from rotting with a leaf blower or use a leaf vacuum to suck it up, you will ultimately stop the formation of nutrient-rich soil.

8. leaf blowers make soil drying more likely

The foliage layer also reduces the likelihood of the soil drying out and protects it from extremely cold temperatures. This is another reason why leaf blowers are harmful to the environment - and another reason why leaves, branches, seeds and other parts of plants should be left lying around.

9. leaf blowers are expensive

If the previous reasons haven't put you off yet, then here's another one that might make you think twice. Leaf blowers and vacuum cleaners are quite expensive. Depending on the model between 50 and 1000€ due. A leaf rake and leaf broom, on the other hand, only cost around 10 to 30 euros. A good reason why you should save money through sustainable behavior can. 😉

10. leaf blowers are not necessary

Leaf rake as an environmentally friendly alternative to the leaf blower

Leaves may be slippery - and the "mess" could also spoil the aesthetics in the garden. At the same time, they are so easy to use and get the job done (especially the community work) in no time at all. Yes, there are actually a few reasons why leaf blowers have made it into the DIY store range in the first place. But of course they are not essential for survival. Especially as Broom and rake there are quiet, inexpensive, odorless and pollutant-free alternatives. If you really want to vacuum or blow your leaves, you can even rely on Electrically operated devices dodge, which will be quite quiet.

Besides, foliage is beautiful and shouldn't really bother anyone. On the contrary: it is Important source of food and protective shelter for countless animals and turns a sterile, "perfect" garden into something unique and lively. If you feel the need, go ahead and rake it up, but at least leave it for your garden visitors.

Are leaf blowers harmful to the environment? The obvious disadvantages of leaf blowers for people, animals and nature

Apart from the convenience and supposed cost savings for municipalities that have larger areas to work on, leaf blowers offer hardly any advantages, only disadvantages. They are Noisy, smelly, air polluting and simply anything but sustainable. That's why we should do without them and fall back on environmentally friendly alternatives.

I hope that I have been able to give you a clear overview of the reasons against motorized garden helpers (or destroyers?). Do you have any questions or can you think of any other disadvantages of leaf blowers and leaf vacuum cleaners? Then feel free to write me a comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Do you already know how you can enjoy countless bird song concerts in your garden in the future? If not, then be sure to check out my post with the Tips for a bird-friendly garden on. Have fun!

₁ BUND Naturschutz in Bayern e.V.: Leaf vacuum cleaners and leaf blowers harm people and nature, available at [21.10.2021].

₂ Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU): Leave autumn leaves lying around, available at [21.10.2021].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

1 thought on “Sind Laubsauger und Laubbläser umweltschädlich? 10 Nachteile und Gründe für nachhaltigere Alternativen”

  1. Editorial Office Environmental Network Switzerland

    Not only noise and emissions are harmful. The increasing use of leaf blowers in agriculture is also problematic. More and more often, farmers blow their hay with the devices - and with it the seeds of the grasses. If these land on inhospitable areas, there is no survival.

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