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Leaf Blowers etc.


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Viewing 22 posts - 26 through 47 (of 47 total)
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  • #3730456
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Monte: Yes, apples-to-apples (or, in this case, baseloaded coal to baseloaded combined cycle gas), yes, NG emits half (or less) the CO2 as coal and essentially none of the mercury and acid rain.

    New combustion plants are almost entirely gas-fired because they can “follow the wind” (and sun) and vary to meet load demands which coal can’t.  Old coal plants are being decommissioned because to renew their 40- and 50-year licenses, they’d be subject to BACT Best Available Control Technology on their emissions to reduce particulates, acid fumes, SOx, NOx, etc.  That’s so many millions of retrofits (all on an old plant) that many have opted to not seek license renewal.

    And I agree with everyone saying to not throw things away too soon.  A new Prius gets 53 mpg, woo-hoo!, but a 1994 Corolla might still be getting 36 mpg which isn’t bad and doesn’t represent all the new resources and energy to build a new car.  New cars cost more to purchase than the fuel you could ever put into them.

    Best transportation option: Live near work and school so you can walk there.
    Next best: be close enough that you can usually take a bicycle.
    Best after that: get a small, fuel-efficient, reliable car and use it for 20 years.  Borrow or rent a truck those 5 days of the year that you actually need one.

    Note that living cheaply is also living more lightly on the land/planet.  And the cheaper you live, the less you have to work and the more time you have to hike.

    #3730460
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    “Note that living cheaply is also living more lightly on the land/planet.  And the cheaper you live, the less you have to work and the more time you have to hike.”

    That’s Thoreau’s philosophy.  If you work, then you have to buy clothes and lunch – pretty soon you’re spending a lot of wages on expenses.

    But, I was surprised to discover a Thoreau hate club, for example

    https://newrepublic.com/article/123162/everybody-hates-henry-david-thoreau

    Bill Bryson – Thoreau is “inestimably priggish and tiresome.”

    Garrison Keillor – Thoreaus is “A sorehead and loner whose clunky line about marching to your own drummer has found its way into a million graduation speeches. Thoreau tried to make a virtue out of lack of rhythm. He said that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. Okay, but how did he know? He didn’t talk to that many people. He wrote elegantly about independence and forgot to thank his mom for doing his laundry.”

    Thoreau’s cabin:

    Looks like Ted Kazinski’s cabin

    I digress…

    #3730509
    obx hiker
    BPL Member

    @obxer

    “Note that living cheaply is also living more lightly on the land/planet.  And the cheaper you live, the less you have to work and the more time you have to hike.”

    And the more time you have to engage with your friends, family and community. A nice aspiration.

    Anyway it looks like the NYT has caught up with BPL again and I found this opinion piece today which has a lot of information including the quote/info about the leafblower operated for 1/2 hour being dirtier than driving a Ford F-150 Talon  Raptor; from Texas to Alaska!

    “But the gasoline-powered leaf blower exists in a category of environmental hell all its own, spewing pollutants — carbon monoxide, smog-forming nitrous oxides, carcinogenic hydrocarbons — into the atmosphere at a literally breathtaking rate.”

    This particular environmental catastrophe is not news. A 2011 study by Edmunds found that a two-stroke gasoline-powered leaf blower spewed out more pollution than a 6,200-pound Ford F-150 SVT Raptor pickup truck. Jason Kavanagh, the engineering editor at Edmunds at the time, noted that “hydrocarbon emissions from a half-hour of yard work with the two-stroke leaf blower are about the same as a 3,900-mile drive from Texas to Alaska in a Raptor.

    I still find that to be pretty much literally incredible (as in not believable)

     

    #3730513
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Well, credible or no, it seems clear that gas powered leaf blowers are huge co2 and pollution emitters. If we can’t even ban those, which have an electric alternative and are not crucial to health or commerce…then we really are doomed.

    I’ve heard similar claims before. It does seem overblown ( hee hee).

    #3730515
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    maybe one of those urban legends that get passed around of dubious accuracy?

    https://www.edmunds.com/about/press/leaf-blowers-emissions-dirtier-than-high-performance-pick-up-trucks-says-edmunds-insidelinecom.html

    as close as the source of the information as I quickly found.  Edmunds actually did the test.

    I think they were just referring to hydrocarbons, NOX, and CO.  They didn’t mention CO2.

    Still, 2 stroke engines ought to be phased out.

    #3730516
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    Think Craig’s idea about what happened with being satisfied with a rake is the best one.

    Then Jer brought up ..


    Thoreau [and] treading more lightly on the land

    When it comes to everyone from Thoreau to present day Marie Kando, it’s been point out it’s become almost a marketing angle in of itself (not that its necessarily bad).    Think the design and financing haven’t caught up to how many actually live though.

    https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2021/10/05/rising-share-of-u-s-adults-are-living-without-a-spouse-or-partner/

    Not that it’s unhealthy..

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-single/202110/there-are-more-single-people-ever-heres-why-thats-ok

    .. but most of the housing stock is designed for young families to large families.    Obviously families need more room, but those not forming families (singles, couples avoiding children) don’t have much access to smaller (re: less expensive) housing that could allow more travel or whatever vs. lawn care/other upkeep.   Could go either way with empty nesters, but eventually someone’s going to need a motel for the holidays..  (note: obviously if someone wants the extra rooms for office, hobbies, or for roomies/an Airbnb biz .. that’s fine).

    Not that a family home can’t be eco-friendly and simple if desired, I guess.   Getting back to the lawn blower vs rake idea, does the modern family really need a big lawn?  Probably need a big screen television, a big park complex where the kids can play soccer, big bike trails, etc..

     

    Another issue is “bigger is better”, but for who?  Conserving with some young couples (no kids), the banks still want buyers to go overboard in buying too big of a house, .. while at least some want a smaller house to travel, maybe make other purchases, etc..  At least the mostly younger crowd is having those discussions I guess. Seems we need a special mortgage program that brings back true starter homes while letting the dedicated singles .. stay.  Talking financing, design, community, etc..

    A rake is obviously easier with a smaller yard too..

     

     

    #3730518
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    We recently moved into a smaller house and yard.  Electric bills are smaller.

    We have a postage stamp sized lawn.  Someone was mowing the neighbor lawn so I said may as well do mine too.  They use two stroke lawn mower and leaf blower.

    I have this vague idea of relandscaping.  Make it bee and bird friendly.  I have noticed one plant, a fuchsia I believe.  It is covered with flowers all summer, and various bees and hummingbirds.  My old house had expanses of Thyme that was covered with flowers all summer and thus bees, I should plant some of that.

    I should talk to the Audubon society.  They have a store and I bet they’d steer me to someone that could help design a more friendly landscape.  No two stroke engines needed, or irrigation I bet.

    #3730519
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    Think cottage garden, designed for local conditions. The green lawn can be greatly minimized.

    #3730520
    Paul Wagner
    BPL Member

    @balzaccom

    Locale: Wine Country

    By the way, sales of new two-stroke outboard motors for boats have been outlawed for years now, at least in California, for the same reasons.  There were the usual screams from the dispossessed (Maybe they are possessed?) but that all seems to have faded into the background noise now.

    #3730526
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

     

    seems to have faded into the background noise now

    Well we don’t want to get into the weeds with the details ..

    new two-stroke outboard motors for boats have been outlawed for years now, at least in California, for the same reasons. 

    There’s obviously still boats afloat from that yacht, with fishing lures and a few cases of beer, .. to inflatable kayaks with fishing poles and a few cases of beer … to even “inflatable dinghy craft” bordering on pool toys with a fishing pole and a couple cases of beer.   Homo sapiens is a remarkably adaptable species

    #3730530
    obx hiker
    BPL Member

    @obxer

    “It does seem overblown ( hee hee)”

    .Following one of the links in the NYT article to an article by the really excellent journalist James Fallows (those of you who read the Atlantic will recognize James Fallows) I came across some info about the noise:

    “Gas-powered blowers produce far more ‘sound energy’ in the low-frequency range. This may seem benign—who doesn’t like a nice basso profundo?—but it has a surprising consequence.
    “High-frequency sound—a mosquito’s buzz, a dental drill—gets your attention, but it does not travel. It falls off rapidly with distance and struggles to penetrate barriers. If you’re in the next room, you may not hear it at all.
    “By contrast, low-frequency noise has great penetrating power: It goes through walls, cement barriers, and many kinds of hearing-protection devices. The acoustic study found that in a densely settled neighborhood, a gas-powered blower rated at, say, 75 decibels of noisiness can affect up to 15 times as many households as a battery-powered blower with the same 75-decibel rating.”

    Fallows also had an interesting observation(s) about other more direct impacts of 2 stroke engines:

    “A more cogent concern is their [two-stroke engines] potential as a source for air toxic exposure to operators. Laborers in the landscape industry frequently operate these devices for extended periods, thus exposing themselves to high concentrations of exhaust gases over a prolonged period of time.
    ”Since the exhaust gases consist of large fractions of unburned gasoline, there is a likelihood that workers are being adversely exposed to benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and other possible toxic compounds [including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, particulates, and poly-aromatic hydrocarbons] contained in gasoline.

    ”Toxic compounds produced during combustion may also present a hazard.”

    The article goes on to point out how operating these devices for extended periods or more than occasionally leads to early severe hearing loss and associated problems. So there are immediate and eventual social  and medical consequences from the impacts of operating the devices as well as long term atmospheric pollution generated by the devices.

    The JS Scott vindication thread!

    #3730557
    BlackHatGuy
    Spectator

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    “Obviously families need more room, but those not forming families (singles, couples avoiding children) don’t have much access to smaller (re: less expensive) housing that could allow more travel or whatever vs. lawn care/other upkeep.”

    I guess it depends on where you go. Most of the houses I looked at in NW Washington were smaller houses (as an older single guy, I didn’t want stairs and didn’t want some big-ass house). The one I bought, a bit under 1400 sq.ft., is a pretty good size for me without being too big or too small.

    “Getting back to the lawn blower vs rake idea, does the modern family really need a big lawn?”

    Need? Perhaps not. Want? Most assuredly if they have a dog. I’ve got a decent sized yard, but wish it were bigger just for more pup-running-around room.

    #3730560
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    “The JS Scott vindication thread!”

    At last! I’d like to thank my parents, my friends, my imaginary dog, my psychiatrist, and Ryan, who so many times kept me from being tossed off the forum.

    #3730562
    BlackHatGuy
    Spectator

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    “The JS Scott vindication thread!”

    I’m gonna buy me a 2-stroke weed eater and then put “The JS Scott vindication thread!” on the string canister….

    #3730567
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    1440 sq feet sounds about like the house I grew up in. My family of four now lives in 1100 square feet. I could probably easily live in one of those tiny houses if I were single, although there’d have to be a garage for gear, bikes, skis, kayaks…

    #3730569
    W I S N E R !
    Spectator

    @xnomanx

    Incidentally, Americans place top 3 for the largest home sizes on planet Earth.

    #3730580
    BlackHatGuy
    Spectator

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    “1440 sq feet sounds about like the house I grew up in.”

    Not 1440, actually 1324.

    And….. I grew up in a 1200 sq ft house with both parents and 7 siblings. I’m owed a 1324 sq ft house in my titanium years, dammit! And I do also have the garage for storing stuff…

    #3730582
    obx hiker
    BPL Member

    @obxer

    I’m gonna buy me a 2-stroke weed eater and then put “The JS Scott vindication thread!” on the string canister….

    I’ll go to my evenings rest with a trans-continental smile after a hearty laugh.

    Teach them weeds a thing or 2.

    #3776411
    Fred J
    Spectator

    @phaseolus

    A comment, pesticides is a generic term for insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, etc. saying pesticides and herbicides in the same sentence is not correct.  I am part of the committee to help stamp out and abolish redundancy.

    #3776442
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    “I am part of the committee to help stamp out and abolish redundancy.”

    I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically applaud your efforts.

     

    #3776539
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    ha, ha, ha,…

    you guys are spending too much excessive time on the internet

    #3777314
    obx hiker
    BPL Member

    @obxer

    ^^  English lessons. Mom is smiling down from Heaven

Viewing 22 posts - 26 through 47 (of 47 total)
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