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Are leaf-blowers killing our planet?

Are leaf-blowers killing our planet?

A topical and contentious subject that is being widely discussed is the claim that leaf-blowers are fatal to insects and are causing an ‘insect Armageddon’. While it is true that leaf-blowers are harmful to insects, this urge to stop using them in aid of saving the planet is completely misplaced – it is not gardeners with leaf-blowers that are killing vital parts of our ecosystems, but rather other practices that are more prolific and substantial, like the farmers who are spraying orchards and crops to an inch of their lives with insecticide. This is the vital distinction between the damage caused by horticulture compared to intensive farming.

In 2004, it was calculated that the average apple orchard in the UK received 13 fungicide sprays, 5 plant growth regulator sprays, 5 insecticide sprays, 2 herbicide sprays and 1 urea spray, of which the main insecticide is in fact toxic to humans, not just insects. Professor Goulson, who is the author of The Garden Jungle said: “The main causes of decline include habitat loss and fragmentation, and the overuse of pesticides. Wild insects are routinely exposed to complex cocktails of toxins which can cause either death or disorientation and weakened immune and digestive systems.”

So, instead of zoning in on an infrequent practice such as leaf-blowing, our food industry is a major contributor to the decline in insect species. It isn’t just the farmers that are contributing to this decline, but to put it into perspective, a single flea treatment for dogs can kill up to 60 million honey bees and 60 partridges.

Even if leaf-blowers do harm our ecosystem, they definitely aren’t the most urgent area of concern when it comes to global warming. Despite using pesticides to kill off weeds and unwanted bugs, horticulture practices aim to produce flowers and plants, healthy grass and trees, which gives insects, butterflies and bees an environment that actively encourages their survival. So, it is not so much a question of denying the impact leaf blowers have on insects and our environment, but rather it being more urgent to control and change the ways and the extent that pesticides are used to give our ecosystem the opportunity to thrive.

 

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Mark norman is now a member of Landscape Juice Network
58 minutes ago
Andrew Marson-Hull replied to Andrew Marson-Hull's discussion Corded tools
"I do like the idea of once spending on the batteries, there are minimal ongoing costs and no fumes etc. It doesn't bother me as much with blowers, mowers and strimmers but hedge trimming is the worse. I have a HS45 and the exhaust seems to be perfec…"
3 hours ago
dan replied to Paul Doyle's discussion Rhus typhinia tiger eyes
"Pot sounds a safe way of handling it :) 
Im all good thankyou - busy but good busy ! Its a marathon not a sprint this year more than ever LOL "
3 hours ago
Gareth replied to Gareth's discussion Husqvarna 525 RJX
"Glad your problem was resolved. I was offered a refund on mine and took it. The dealer tried another head on it and it still juddered too much - real shame as the vibes on full throttle were fine, just useless anything less than fuill throttle. Mayb…"
6 hours ago
Paul Doyle replied to Paul Doyle's discussion Rhus typhinia tiger eyes
"Hey Dan,
Yeah I have found a few forums state side, where I think it was bred, and the consensus has been to run away from it just like the others.  I might put it in a big pot, as it's a wonderful variety.. plus Iv bought it now😄...
Hows things wit…"
13 hours ago
Tom Cann replied to Tom Cann's discussion Self propelled mower recommendations please
"Hehehehe 
this seems to have spiralled off into a grass cutting fee thread!!
so just bought a Honda Izy 21 inch cut. Had new deck fitted, sonic cleaned carb, new spark plug, new pull cord and new blade. thanks for the advice everyone. I really appre…"
14 hours ago
mark thomas replied to Tom Cann's discussion Self propelled mower recommendations please
"Quid a minute fine on commercial or when they not home
but when they home and retired and want come out and gas 
for ten mins then ya profit disappears....so not always viable "
17 hours ago
Billybop replied to Andrew Marson-Hull's discussion Corded tools
"yes the depreciation to the life of the battery probably a marginally larger cost than the price of the electricity itself. But very little of either really. I find it very satisfying carrying a box of depleted batteries in from the van after a good…"
17 hours ago
Vic 575 replied to Andrew Marson-Hull's discussion Corded tools
"Hi Kris and Graham, 
I hadn’t considered that there may be a misconception as to what the ELH is for and that it wrongly might be thought of as only be for a pole hedge cutter. The ELH is absolutely for a normal [non pole] hedge cutter. This is prim…"
17 hours ago
Billybop replied to Tom Cann's discussion Self propelled mower recommendations please
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18 hours ago
Kris Baker replied to Andrew Marson-Hull's discussion Corded tools
"2x Stihl AP300 battery fully charged should be enough for a full day's hedge cutting.
By my calculation AP300 is 6Ah at 36v = 216 Wh - call it 250 Wh to allow for some losses.
1 unit of Electricity, 1kWh, on regular tariff is around 15p-20p, Off Pea…"
18 hours ago
Paul Baillie replied to Tom Cann's discussion Self propelled mower recommendations please
"To be fair, I'd probably actively avoid a regular two hour grass cut. That would be really horrific if you were rained off for a couple of weeks on the trott. I'm blessed I only do 4400 miles a year, everything is very close to me"
18 hours ago
Gary Bickerton updated their profile
19 hours ago
Billybop replied to Tom Cann's discussion Self propelled mower recommendations please
"around my area the quid per minute rule works ok on the small granny type lawns or large ride on jobs but a 2hour push mower domestic job would be lucky to get 50p per minute sadly"
19 hours ago
Paul Baillie replied to Tom Cann's discussion Self propelled mower recommendations please
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£350 no where near enough for me either.
i'…"
20 hours ago
Sean Clarke replied to Gareth's discussion Husqvarna 525 RJX
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20 hours ago
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3 Replies · Reply by Vic 575 on Friday