Quiet Communities is hosting two educational conferences on innovations in landscape maintenance in association with Tufts University’s Office of Sustainability and Wellesley College. The conferences will feature expert presentations on the health, environmental, and community impacts of gas-powered maintenance practices, worker issues, sustainable landscaping and maintenance, green campuses, and the promise of new technologies. A hands-on demonstration of innovative, high performance, zero emissions equipment from different manufacturers will follow.
The Tufts conference will be held on June 9th from 8:30 am -1 pm in Cabot 703, 170 Packard Ave, Medford, MA (registration starts at 7:30 am). Seating is limited to 40. Preferences will be given to pre-registrants. The Wellesley College event will be held on Wednesday, June 11th from 8:30 am – 1:30 pm at the Wang Campus Center, Wellesley, MA (registration starts at 7:30 am). The pre-registration cost for both events is $25 for non-students ($30 at the conference) and $15 for students. Breakfast and lunch are included. More information is available at www.quietcommunities.org.
Gas-powered equipment is now the mainstay of grounds maintenance. These machines consume approximately 1.6 billion gallons of gasoline each year and are far more polluting than cars. Two- stroke engines ? blowers, trimmers, and edgers ?are the worst offenders. Emissions of ozone-forming compounds, particulate matter, and other toxic exhaust products are especially concerning because they cause or contribute to cardiovascular disease, asthma, other respiratory diseases, premature death, and cancer. Chronic noise from leaf blowers, trimmers, and other machines are typically at levels far exceeding established safety standards. These noise levels are known to cause or contribute to hearing loss, ischemic heart problems, cognitive difficulties and other conditions. Children, workers, seniors and people with pre-existing medical conditions are among the most vulnerable. Yet, it is common to see these machines used in close proximity to people in our neighborhoods, schools, and public spaces. “Substantial and conclusive evidence on the health hazards of noise and pollution exist, but they have not been effectively communicated to the public. It’s time for people to realize better alternatives exist,” says Jamie Banks, Executive Director of Quiet Communities. One alternative is high performance, cordless electric equipment that has zero emissions, is quieter, and saves money. “Our upcoming events are intended to give people the information they need to make healthier, more sustainable choices whether it’s high tech electric or the rake.”
Quiet Communities, Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization formed in 2013 to provide education and outreach on the health and environmental impacts of gas powered outdoor maintenance practices and on quieter, more sustainable, healthier solutions. To learn more visit www.quietcommunities.org or call 781.259.1717.
– Submitted by Jamie Banks, Executive Director