Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA has “Green Zones” on campus in which only man-powered or battery-powered equipment is used and organic integrated pest management is applied.
Sonoma Valley Unified School District, Sonoma, CA ended the use of all gas-powered leaf blowers at its schools as of end of 2015. With medical and scientific evidence on the adverse impacts of the gas blowers from the citizens group, SNALB (Sonoma Neighbors Against Leaf Blowers), Quiet Communities, and others, the decision to ban their use had the full support of Superintendent Louann Carlomagno, the District’s Board of Trustees, and Maintenance and Operations Officer Tony Albini. Electric leaf blower use will also be limited to non-student hours, in recognition of the detrimental effects leaf blowers cause to air quality and the consequent risks to student health.
Tufts University, Medford, MA. Following a conference hosted by Quiet Communities and Tufts’ Office of Sustainability, the university purchased two new electric lawnmowers to decrease noise and emissions and raise drive up awareness of the ecological benefits of switching to electric-powered alternative-fuel vehicles. “The maintenance on these is much simpler. There are no engines, there is no oil, there is no gas … all that goes away. And the motors are modular, so if one breaks, you just take it out and put a new one in. You don’t have to take heads off and valves out. It is much, much easier,” commented Facilities Services Grounds Supervisor, John Vik. According to Sustainability director, Tina Woolston, “We want a cleaner campus for the students and a better environment for the workers. The noise of the regular … conventional machines is above what people should be exposed to. It can cause deafness and damage … and it really impedes the ability to teach when lawnmowers prevent you from being able to pay attention or hear.”