Talking to landscapers can be tricky

Here are some tips and tools to help.

Whether you already employ a contractor to maintain your outdoor spaces or are looking for a new one, the first step is making clear what you want — after all, you are the client paying for these services.

Call or email the company and speak to an owner or manager. Usually, the workers who service a property are following a protocol that is set by the company’s owner(s) and manager(s).

Request that gas leaf blowers not be used on your job. You may want to talk about why you feel strongly about this — whether it is the noise, the health risks, the environmental damage, or the horticultural benefits of alternative approaches. Our fact sheets provide key points backed up by research.

You will likely get pushback on this — you may hear that without gas leaf blowers, your yard won’t look good, the job will take too long, it will be more expensive, etc. Focus on practical details and options, and keep the conversation constructive and respectful. Make sure you are not talking past each other. If you are fine with battery-electric tools, for example, make that clear.

Refer to our Huntington CALM page and remember that much of the work leaf blowers do is not good for your soil and plants anyway — they can simply stop doing it. If you’re concerned about stray grass or leaves on your hard surfaces, request that manual or battery-electric equipment be used for that task.

It is possible that your landscaper may request a higher fee for a quieter, greener service. Get the details and determine what seems reasonable. There are meaningful upfront costs for a landscaper to transition to battery-electric equipment, even if operating costs are lower over time.

Remember that you are the client paying for this service. If one company cannot do the job in a way that meets your expectations, others can. On this site, we hope to highlight local companies who are happy to offer quieter, healthier, greener services — without gas-powered leaf blowers.

Download this Conversation Guide: Speaking with Your Landscaper (courtesy of Quiet Montclair).