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Stay Away from Leaf Blowers

Aug 29, 2020

O peoples of the world! Forsake all evil, hold fast that which is good. Strive to be shining examples unto all mankind, and true reminders of the virtues of God amidst men.

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

September 2020, Christine Muller

A gasoline-powered leaf blower emits an enormous amount of toxic air pollutants. One study reported that in just half an hour of using a leaf blower these air pollutants are comparable to those emitted from 440 miles of car travel at 30 mph average speed. These emissions not only contribute to global warming, but are also directly dangerous to your health. You get eight times more carbon monoxide than from car exhaust* and the particulate matter stirred up by blowers can include animal feces, pesticides, chemicals, trace quantities of heavy metals, and allergens such as pollen and mold*.

The noise of leaf blowers can cause permanent hearing loss. As is true with many human activities, what is bad for the environment is also bad for your health.

*Source: New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation


Christine Muller, Teacher of Music and the Environment

Board Secretary, International Environment Forum

I was interested in environmental issues already at a young age and became a Bahá’í when I was 17, which was the beginning of a life-long study of the Bahá’í Faith. As the environmental crisis was worsening, I began to systematically study climate change at a time when not much information was easily available. I also searched the Bahá’í teachings for a spiritual solution to the climate crisis. At that time, climate change was not known to most people and there were no educational materials available. That’s why I wrote Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change – an Interfaith Study Course, which the International Environment Forum posted in 2009. I joined the Wilmette Institute as support faculty for its Sustainable Development course in 2011 and created its Climate Change course the following year. I also teach a course on climate change for the Environmental Sciences Department of the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) in Iran. I have served on the board of RI Interfaith Power&Light for more than a decade. In recent years, much of my time is spent serving the Bahá’í-inspired International Environment Forum ( as its secretary.  My formal academic background is in music, and I enjoy part-time piano teaching, playing and - when there is time - composing music. A recent composition is Humans on Earth – a Ballad of Our Time for two singers, string orchestra, piano, and percussion. Its lyrics include quotations from scientific sources and the Bahá’í Writings. Christine’s articles on BahaiTeachings.orgSee Faculty Bio


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