ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Throughout the country, communities are banning or restricting the use of leaf blowers or are considering doing so. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is working to help professional landscapers, outdoor power equipment dealers and retailers and other stakeholders to counter these challenges.
“Many of the objections to leaf blower use are based on emotion, misinformation or unfounded beliefs. And don’t think this is just a gas-powered equipment issue. Bans and restrictions are being put in place regardless of the power source,” says Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “We are doing our part to prevent and fight these bans, but it is vital that landscapers, dealers and retailers get involved at the local level to ensure they don’t lose access to this important equipment.”
OPEI’s new toolkit is designed to be used by end users to help educate the public, local officials and the media about the important work leaf blowers do in their communities. The toolkit — available in English- and Spanish-language versions — includes:
- A series of videos that outline what landscapers and the broader industry are doing to encourage safe and courteous use of leaf blowers
- A template opinion piece and letter to the editor to send to local media
- “Myth-busting” talking points to help frame conversations with local officials
- A safe and courteous use pledge for landscapers and their workers to share with local officials
- Social media posts that they can use to share information
“We encourage professionals to be vigilant in watching for leaf blower issues in their local communities and to respond when they see a challenge arise. As the green industry, it takes all of us to respond on these issues,” Kiser says.