National web briefing tackles harmful pollution from lawn equipment

Clean air leaders discussed policies to accelerate the transition to electric lawn mowers, leaf blowers and more

Clean air

Staff | Used by permission

With fall in the air and leaf blowers at full blast in neighborhoods across the nation, state and local lawmakers and their staff convened this week for a legislative briefing webinar on the shocking amount of pollution gas-powered tools like leaf blowers and lawn mowers produce — pound for pound even more than the cars and trucks we drive.


The webinar highlighted Lawn Care Goes Electric, a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund that shows that gas-powered lawn mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers, chainsaws and other garden equipment generate a surprisingly large amount of pollution and noise.  According to the report’s analysis of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data, lawn and garden equipment in the U.S. emitted an estimated 21,800 tons of harmful “fine particulate” air pollution in 2020 – equal to the amount emitted by 234 million typical cars over the course of a year.

The good news is, cleaner, quieter electric-powered lawn equipment is capable, affordable and readily available. From ozone-forming emissions to particulate matter to greenhouse gasses, we no longer have to tolerate so much pollution — and noise — when cutting grass and maintaining our gardens and landscapes.

Attendees heard from air quality leaders about different policy solutions to cut pollution from the lawn and garden sector by shifting to cleaner, quieter electric equipment.

To clean up our air and protect our health, it’s important to transition away from dirty gas-powered lawn and garden equipment as quickly as possible.


Kirsten Schatz

Clean Air Advocate, CoPIRG

Kirsten joined CoPIRG's staff in 2022 and is focused on fighting for clean air for Coloradans and transforming transportation systems. Previously, she oversaw The Public Interest Network's efforts to engage alumni/former employees and volunteers in the network's work, specializing in communications and organizing events in dozens of cities. Kirsten lives in the Denver area with her husband and two children, where she is an avid hiker, biker, church choir member and gardener.

Ellie Kerns

Climate Field Organizer, PennEnvironment

Ellie works on PennEnvironment's climate change campaign and helps move forward climate initiatives. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys photography and gardening.