Evanstonian Lori Rotenberk has sent us a letter suggesting this spring would be a good time for folks to turn over a new leaf in their lawn care habits. We'd like to know what you think of her suggestion that -- among other things -- lawn care companies should be banned.
It's that time of year in Evanston. Spring. And with it comes the low humming sound that has nothing to do with nature. Or the so adored yoga held dear along the North Shore. Rather, it's the sound of dozens of leaf blowers -- sometimes as many as thirty -- puffing away along a two-block stretch of the ever so "green" Evanston. Add to the noise the deep, dark clouds of dust and debris. The acrid smell of the gasoline used to fuel these monsters as well as the giant gas lawn mowers. Cap it all of with a shot of chemical weed and insect killer and what do we have? A community that purports to be environmentally aware if not active. See them jumping into giant SUV's to head to the farmer's market?
Recent reports in everything from Mother Jones to The New York Times and the environmental-conscious Grist and TreeHugger continue to report how dangerous home-use insecticides are on pregnant mothers, kids, animals -- everything. Yet the Evanston City government along with a multitude of residents turn their backs on the issues. What exactly do you think is being blown around out there season after season? Why does the city allow this while other communities nationally have long established ordinances and laws that not only ban lawn care crews, gas and electric leaf blowers, chemicals but also the noise that comes with them. Evanston lags sorely behind the times, a surprising tidbit given the "green" facade by a town that likes to go around painting the downtown purple. That alone should tell you plenty. Ours is a beautiful community and we're so fortunate to live along a vast lake with an abundance of trees. But who can hear the birds nesting in them? It's time everyone quit pretending and the city council get down and dirty on environmental pollution issues caused right in our own backyards.
-- Lori Rotenberk