Four Alternatives to Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

Most people dislike leaf blowers because of the noise. If your neighborhood has lawns, the chainsaw-level buzzing is inescapable for most of the year. Their engines are so inefficient and so good at polluting the ears that they should qualify as a threat to public health. A gas-powered leaf blower is basically an old-school 2-stroke engine with a nozzle attached. To make things worse, 2-stroke engines don’t have catalytic converters to mitigate their emissions, so an hour operating a leaf flower is worse than driving a car for 100 miles. There are, however, four alternatives to leaf blowers that you might want to consider………and no, a rake isn’t one of them. 


ELECTRIC LEAF BLOWER: The most obvious swap for a gas-powered leaf blower is an electric one. They’re still noisy, but they’re plenty powerful for your leaf removal needs. They’re also surprisingly affordable. Light-duty models cost less than $100, while the beefier ones run between $200 and $400. 


TOW-BEHIND LAWN SWEEPER: Removing leaves and other debris from a lawn big enough to require a riding mower is a massive project. If that describes your situation, a tow-behind lawn sweeper might be just the ticket. They attach to your mower with a hitch and pick up whatever you drive over. 


PUSH LEAF COLLECTOR: If you want to go entirely motorless, you still have at least one non-rake option: a push-powered leaf collector. These are operated just like a push mower. They’re basically a big basket on wheels. As you push them over your lawn, the sweeper collects leaves and other debris in the basket. 


KILLING YOUR LAWN: Lawns are a high-maintenance, water-hungry waste of space. If you redesign your yard to eliminate bare grass altogether, you won’t have to spend half your fall weekends picking leaves off of it. Besides, fallen leaves make great mulch. If your yard is set up in a way that allows them to fall onto plants instead of grass, you can just leave them where they are and let nature take its course.