CH needs low-impact lawn-care services

Cleveland Heights has a large percentage of senior-aged residents who choose to remain in the homes and neighborhoods they’ve made their own. All homes on our lovely, tree-lined streets require lawn and yard maintenance. As some residents become less able to, or less interested in, tending to yardwork themselves, they may turn to a lawn-care or landscaping service.

Most professional lawn-care equipment is designed for lots of an acre or more. Lawn-care businesses operate equipment sized for larger clients, including churches, schools, businesses and bigger residential properties. They service smaller residential clients with the same equipment. They need the big equipment for the big jobs—but it's oversized for smaller lots.

A large majority of Heights residential lots are only 50-feet wide, and one-sixth of an acre or less. Many of us can touch our neighbor’s house while standing in our driveway. 

When oversized mowers are used on small lots and narrow tree lawns, followed by gas-powered leaf blowers to blow away the grass clippings and edging dirt, it affects the client, the land, and the neighbors.

Besides the intense noise and dust, one hour of gas leaf blowing can emit as much carbon pollution as driving a car 1,100 miles. The gas-oil fuel combustion commonly used in leaf blowers spews out most of the fuel as fine aerosol, together with carbon monoxide. Imagine a car engine steadily running in your driveway for 17 hours. Imagine how much carbon monoxide could be entering through the house's windows. Suppose this happens every week, at several homes around yours—not for a few short minutes, but for hours.

Seniors, children, and people with heart and lung conditions are especially sensitive to the health impacts, but nobody should be forced to accept repeated exposure—especially when there are alternatives.

Cuyahoga County is offering $100 rebates for residents who purchase battery-operated lawnmowers. There is no local incentive program for businesses to transition to electric, though California and other states are offering incentives and training.

Cleveland Heights has a need for low-impact lawn-care services. Lawn-care businesses willing to alter practices and invest in zero-emissions equipment are the future.

Members of Quiet Clean Heights want to hear from lawn-care professionals who are transitioning to zero-emissions or reduced-emissions services. Contact us at

Alice Jeresko

Alice Jeresko is an environmental advocate who founded Quiet Clean Heights to help raise awareness of the health, hearing and environmental impacts of gas leaf blowers in residential neighborhoods.

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:15 PM, 05.01.2023