Saturday, April 22, 2006

Dear Portland, Turn off your mowers!

My god. My head is throbbing. The incessant whir whir whir buzz buzz of all of the power tools this weekend. Gas powered and loud as hell, they're coming at me from all sides. It's warming up in Portland, and the neighbors are out getting in touch with their manly tools. Mower, edger, blower, power washer. Props for keepin' up the house, really. That's good. But my god! Do they have to make these things so loud and obnoxious?

The Noise Pollution Clearinghouse knows what I'm talking about when I say it's crazy loud.
If everyone in your neighborhood was mowing at the same time with a quiet electric mower, it would probably be quieter than if just one person in your neighborhood was using a typical gas-powered mower.
There's a great link over there to a Washington Post article. Get this:
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 10 million Americans already suffer permanent noise-induced hearing loss. A typical gas-powered mower offers prolonged exposure to 90 decibels. Sounds in excess of 85 decibels can damage hearing, but noise at only 65 to 75 decibels can cause hypertension, stress, heart damage and depression.
So to all of the lawn jockeys, if you must have pristine, perfectly angled turf, please do us all a favor and go for something quiet like a push mower or electric mowers, edgers and blowers.

Okay, bitch fest over.

P.S. In case anyone wants to tell me to stop complaining, please know I spent all day outside in the glorious day and for one sweet moment this evening I tried to take a nap.


mindlessgirl said...

my personal fave, are those who decide that they have to mow their lawn at 7am on a weekend morning...that's the neighbors have already started mowing their lawns and they just started turning green this past week...

sttropezbutler said...

We send a man to the moon and we could send a woman if we wanted to...but we can't make a vaccum cleaner or and mower that is quiet? What is wrong here?


Betsy said...

Oh, I'm betting we could - I think we choose not to, 'cause it makes people feel like they're doing the NASCAR vroom vroom thing!

I have a cordless electric mower - it works great, plus it's very quiet. But I know I'd have a rebellion on my hands here if I tried to use it at 7 am - that's just an issue of common courtesy.

bemused said...

Good rant, lelo. So true, so true. I call it yardening - man over nature. Bigger, noisier tools are a must, apparently. It's not just the noise that gets me, it's the smell, too. All that awful exhaust - yuck! Maybe because I'm asthmatic, I prize fresh air more than others. There are few things I love more than a deep lungful of cool, sweet goodness that is so typical of the PNW, especially in summer when canned air isn't the norm like it is in other parts of the country. We've made strides in some areas of air pollution but we seem to be taking steps back in other areas. It isn't something to be taken for granted and it should be protected. But that's my rant. I can block the noise with more success than I can block the smells (I can only hold my breath for so long).

My goal is to reduce the size of my lawn enough that we can ditch the gas mower and buy an old-fashioned mower. I love the wonderful swoosh, swoosh, swoosh as it cuts the lawn. I'm told it is hard work so we may buy an electric mower instead. I don't mind the exercise but back and shoulder problems may limit what I can do. I'd be glad to take over the mowing chores if it wasn't for the noisy, noxious gas mower.

LeLo in NoPo said...

7am: oh I know what you're talking about. HELLO!

Betsy, the funny thing about the NASCAR vroom vroom thing is that I live within hearing distance of Portland International Raceway. This morning, Sunday morning, they're going vroom vroom a-plenty out there. Ah, the joys of living in the city!

bemused said...

lelo, I discovered our new waterfall helps muffle neighborhood noise. My waterfall isn't roaring - more like babbling brook - but it doesn't seem to take much to mask noise or distract me from noticing noise. Even my little bubbling bird bath in my front garden works. It's small so I have to be close enough to it but it does help. If you don't have a water feature, maybe you should add one. You'll like the sound and I guarantee Wink will love the 'open bar'. LOL

Now if only I could figure a way to filter the noxious fumes of smoke before they get to my garden...

LeLo in NoPo said...

bemused......yeah, your new waterfall is AMAZINGLY LOVELY! I think you're onto something though...we've had a small water feature in the back, side, somewhat portable, and I think this may be the summer to put a larger more substantial one central in the garden...good thinking!!!!