Leaf blowers the easy way to annoy your neighbours

Well I hope not! Can I start by saying I absolutely hate leaf blowers. As a professional Industrial Designer, I feel they are one of the worst products that my profession has inflicted on the world. They are noisy, a complete waste of energy/fuel and serve little purpose except to move a ‘problem’ from one place to another.

Leaf Blower

As I write this there is a complete moron outside my window taking great delight in the constant wooooorrrrrr wooooorrrr woooooorrrrr woooooorrrrr sound of displacing leaves from his front driveway onto someone else’s, it’s 7.30am. What the hell happened to the good old (I’m starting to sound old!) rake and shovel, they are still about but a real rare species these days. I understand leaves need to be cleared to avoid drain blockages etc but is blowing the shit out of them really the best use of anyone’s time and resources.


If we take this noisy, offensive and unnecessary product and look at it in the context of the current world we live in, I think we can draw similarities to a human mentality. I personally think this moving on of problems (the leaf blower) is really a mainstream attitude and the action to actually do something about the problem (the rake) the minority.

Only a year ago I myself sat down for an interview about sustainability within the design industry, in which I blamed every man and his dog for the problems within the profession, stating that the call to action needs to come from the top down, that it starts with heads of companies blah blah blah. At a recent innovation event I sat and listened to a room full of people saying that it was the government’s fault that innovation was stifled.

Well what can I say, I was wrong the people in that room were wrong, the buck stops with us! We are responsible for our own actions. As a designer I feel a weighty responsibility to produce things that we actually need, that do not detract from our surroundings, quality of life, environment but at the same time provide me a living and add to our economy! Quite a challenge but one we must embrace and more importantly one I must embrace.

(8.30am the leaf blowing is still in full flow)

To be continued……..

2 Responses to “Leaf Blowers – A metaphor for human mentality?”

    • tanedesign

      That’s the spirit Bill.. quiet, no energy used, same end result and a great physical workout. Keep up the good work.


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