Every child learns that leaves are an absolutely necessary part of the ecosystem. Trees drop their leaves, leaves decompose and fertilize the earth. Leaves provide shelter for insects. Insects are pollinators and important decomposers. In turn, the insects feed the birds. The United States bird population has dwindled by 3 billion, 40% of all insects are dying and the Earth is heating up.
Thank you to our Township Council for recently creating stricter codes regarding the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. This is a great first step and I look forward to a total ban of gas leaf blowers in Montclair in the near future.
In the meantime, in order for laws to work, there needs to be public awareness and aggressive enforcement. We pay parking meters because 1) every parking meter displays the fee and 2) we know that parking enforcement in Montclair is very zealous. The same level of awareness should apply to leaf blower use.
I urge the council to educate both homeowners and landscapers about the new law. This could take the form of letters, social media announcements and automated texts to landscapers and residents informing them that use of gas-powered leaf blowers is prohibited from May 16 through Oct. 14, and from Dec. 16 through March 14 each year. Or, in other words, their usage is limited to between March 15 and May 15, and Oct. 15 and Dec. 15.
In addition to public education, we need code enforcement to proactively enforce it! These are easy violations to find — just follow the noise — and could be a source of revenue for Montclair, just as parking enforcement is.
Towns and cities all over the United States have climate action plans and are moving toward zero emissions. This is an emergency. The worldwide drive toward zero emissions is being driven locally. Let’s set the standard for New Jersey and be part of the solution!
Montclair Local’s Opinion section is an open forum for civil discussion in which we invite readers to discuss town matters, articles published in Montclair, or previously published letters. Views expressed and published in this section are solely those of the writers, and do not represent the views of Montclair Local.
Letters to the editor: To submit a letter to the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail “Letters to the Editor,” 309 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ, 07042 (email is preferred). Submissions must include the name, address and phone number of the writer for verification. Only the writer’s name and town of residence will be published. Montclair Local does not publish anonymous opinion pieces.
Letters must be no more than 500 words in length, and must be received by 5 p.m. Monday to be eligible for potential publication in that week’s Thursday print issue. Letters may be edited by Montclair Local for grammar and style. While our goal is to publish most letters we receive, Montclair Local reserves the right to decline publication of a letter for any reason, including but not limited to concerns about unproven or defamatory statements, inappropriate language, topic matter far afield of the particular interests of Montclair residents, or available space.
Town Square: Montclair Local also accepts longer-form opinion essays from residents aiming to generate discussion on topics specific to the community, under our “Town
Square” banner. “Town Square” essays should be no more than 750 words in length, and topics should be submitted to email@example.com at least seven days prior to publication.