The mission of Quiet Princeton is to improve the quality of life in our town and to restore and enhance its peaceful and harmonious character, by removing and controlling sources of noise in the environment.
Quiet Princeton was founded in 2016 in Princeton, New Jersey, by a group of local citizens with a common interest in reducing noise disturbance in our town.
There are a number of sources of noise. Quiet Princeton is currently focusing on one of the most disturbing–the noise generated by leaf blowers. We have developed a novel initiative, “Quiet Landscaping,” to address this problematic issue in a constructive way.
A Beautiful Street is also a Quiet Street
“Quiet Landscaping” offers a way to improve everyone’s life
Princeton, New Jersey, is justly renowned for its beauty. An important aspect of its beauty is peacefulness. However, urban noise is an increasing societal problem. In our neighborhoods, the peace is all too often destroyed by the use of powerful leaf blowers. Their noise disturbs scores of people who live a block or several blocks away. Residents who are away from home while their lawn is being serviced may be quite unaware of the noise problems that leaf blowers cause for their neighbors.
- Homeowners who maintain their own lawns, using a leaf blower, may not realize how disturbing the noise and pollution are to other residents.
- As the photo above shows, landscape contractors frequently use more than one leaf blower simultaneously, greatly increasing the noise level.
- When a landscaping contractor moves from one house to another down the street, the noise can persist for hours.
- An increasing tendency to remove every last leaf in flowerbeds, lawn, and even on the sidewalk and street, prolongs the agony.
- All the while, a leaf blower puts out tens or hundreds of times the pollution of a car. Incredibly, recent measurements by the state of California have found that total lawn equipment emissions equal the total emissions caused by cars! This is a serious matter.
The idea that leafblowers save time – which is the one and only argument for using them – is outrageous, since it implies that the time stolen from the rest of us is worthless.
– Dr. Winifred Rosen
You can help to make your neighborhood quieter:
See “Quiet Landscaping”
In Quiet Princeton’s new leaf blower initiative, local landscapers have signed up to be available as “Quiet Landscapers.”
The program is voluntary. We believe it is a win-win for all involved:
— Homeowners, who are affected by the noise
— Neighbors, who are also affected by the noise
— Landscapers’ workers, who are affected by day-long exposure to noise and pollution
— Landscape contractors, who may get additional customers who are looking for a “Quiet Landscaper”
Many interested parties benefit from this initiative:
— The municipality: the initiative decreases clogging of drains and costly removal of leaf piles from the streets.
— Public health: the initiative decreases hearing damage and lung problems that landscapers’ workers suffer from leaf blowers’ noise and pollution.
— Environmentalists: the initiative decreases serious air pollution from leaf blower operation and from transporting leaves.
— Ecologists: the initiative decreases damage due to removal of topsoil by leaf blowers.
— Princeton residents: the initiative decreases distressing and stressful noise that leaf blowers create.
We urge residents to take further action themselves. See other parts of this website:
Talk to your Neighbors (scroll down to step 3) and Resources
Leaf Blowers in a social context: What is acceptable today?
Social practices that affect the health of others eventually change. Clear examples where a once-“normal” practice is now unacceptable include smoking in public, and dog fouling. This is illustrated HERE. An important aspect is that people need to be helped to realize that there are replacement practices: that there really are other alternatives.
In the future, Quiet Princeton may wish to:
- Meet with institutions in town about leaf blowers and other sources of noise and pollution
- Talk to organizations in town that may wish to coordinate their efforts with ours
- Investigate the use of a new generation of electric leaf blowers and other quieter, non-polluting lawn maintenance equipment
- Consider the development of ordinances to control noise and pollution problems