We suggest you also read our other Action sections.
All together, they contain suggestions for actions that could be carried
out by an individual, by several people or by grass roots groups.
Besides providing you with feedback or data, the act of explaining why
you are sharing information, making a study or circulating a petition,
in itself, educates others about the NOBLOW Movement that is gathering
momentum across the nation.
See also Educate
|Submit Press Releases, Advisories
and Calendar Events to Environmental Media Services and/or to individual
local press sources.
|Advertise the issue with slogans or
designs on t-shirts, bumper stickers, decals on yard signs, fabric
shopping bags. Make them yourself by computer print-out at
home or at a photocopy/computer services store, or try an internet
company. (See one web source)
|Support Non-profit Groups
|Send donations to one or more of the
Non-profit or other groups listed in our Reference
Sources page. Many of them are run by volunteers, others have
only a small staff. Many are fighting for your right to quiet and/or
to clean air. Others provide research and information. ZAPLA.org
is a public service website. We are not set up to accept donations.
|Calls for Action
|Place friends and family who are interested
in this issue in a specific address group in your email, or on a
sticker list for US mail so you can quickly notify them to write
a politician or other person or entity, if the need should arise.
You might address the email to only one person, and insert the others
as blind copies, so a long list of addresses is not
attached to the email. If you know that some people automatically
reject "blind copies", send their mail individually.
|Spread the Word whenever your E-Mail
|See Advocacy/Activist ideas from Institute
for Global Communications
Use one of our slogans or phrases
or write a simple statement or plea for help. Add these before
or after your return address on envelopes for regular U.S. or other
Add notice of this web site and/or one of our slogans to your default
signature file for your outgoing e-mail. Request
friends and family to do the same. It will automatically appear.
You may still delete it in individual messages.
|Does your homeowners group or
neighborhood civic association have a website? (Free
Listing Source). List your blower regulations on it.
More and more people are considering the issue of quiet neighborhoods
when they relocate.
Does your civic association have a newsletter? Public libraries
may allow non-commercial materials such as newsletters or fliers,
to be made available to the public. If they are date sensitive,
please remove them at the proper time. Send information about this
web site to all branch reference librarians in your community, and/or,
leave information about our site for library patrons to see.
Ask local NoBlow gardeners and landscape companies who
never use blowers if you can list their phone numbers. Better
yet, list companies that use no gas machines.
Companies who are just willing not to use blowers when so requested,
may be tempted to reintroduce them whenever an employer is not around.
|See Educate Yourself for
ideas on forming alliances with other individuals or groups.
Try to preserve your privacy, and that of individual members as
much as possible. Contact other members for permission before
giving out their phone numbers and/or names.
|Your opponents will join forces.
The L.A. Times, on July 25, 1998, pointed out that, during the fall
of 1997, a manufacturer organized the first meeting of a coalition
of dealers, landscapers and the Latino gardeners. Actually,
they had all worked for several years to oppose the Los Angeles
ban efforts. The first state proposal to block blower bans
was in February of the next year.
You need to have some strength in numbers, too.
1. Form a grassroots group of any size.
2. Name the group in terms of your goals or your purpose.
3. Design a simple logo and/or letterhead that makes your point.
4. Get a post office box.
5. Set up a Hotline. Use a phone number connected to an answering
machine whose outgoing message mentions only the group, but no personal
information. Remember that, if you call an 800 or similar
toll free number, their caller ID will capture your
number, and that your number can lead to your address.
6. Publicize your group in order to attract like-minded people to
the group, educate others, and to gain information or to be a press
7. Contact other groups concerned with air pollution, noise, and
quality of life issues. Get the names and phone numbers of
a contact within those groups, who you can network with
for ideas and support.
Write and distribute a position paper or study
that clearly states your point of view and purpose.
|A position paper should be narrowly
Cite facts and their reliable sources. Where you can, go to
original sources rather than quote second-hand reports.
If your study is focused on one aspect of the issue, it might serve
as a one or two page attachment to a one-page letter
of support or opposition to proposed legislation.
|Be careful when you re-word any
facts, for any reason, that you do not unintentionally change the
meaning of the information.
||This is especially so when you are
quoting articles which, themselves, interpret original studies.
Dont say, Blowers are dangerous if your source
says emissions are dangerous or fugitive dust
is dangerous. Dont say All blowers create
this much air pollution if newer models exist with much lower
Your power is in truthfulness in what you do say. You are
not obligated to add information that would benefit your opposition.
However, dont ignore technological advances that can lessen
the problems you are trying to solve.
|Send a copy of local laws and background
information to local realtors.
|Ask them to include it in their newsletters.
Send the same information to large apartment or condo managements,
local school districts or individual schools that may still allow
|Urge local retailers who sell banned
blowers to prominently display signs that spell out local laws for
their use. Sales personnel should also be trained to respond
honestly to potential customers.
should include the laws in several nearby communities, if necessary.
Laws may be local, state or federal emission standards, noise levels,
nuisance laws, and may apply to all garden equipment used city wide,
or only in residential zones.
|Over a period of several weeks, send
different customers into the same large retailer or
dealer to ask questions as they shop. They should
take notes at that time or immediately after this trip, and record
whether there was any indication of local laws. When they
mentioned where they lived or where they were going to use the blower,
did the salesperson point out any bans or restrictions on the machine?
When asked directly if there were any laws against using a gas blower,
how did the salesperson respond? Did they offer suggestions
on how to avoid or ignore the law? Did the salesperson point
out and explain the emission and/or noise decibel level stickers
on the machines, and their relevance to the town in which the customer
said they were to be used.
With your notes as evidence, schedule a meeting with the management
or owner of the store to request specific remedies. If these
are carried out, send a thank you to the national headquarters,
asking them to implement the same remedies in all of their stores.
If these are not carried out to your satisfaction, and maintained
permanently, draw press and media attention to the problem, and
complain to the national headquarters, if any.
Hold demonstrations and/or circulate petitions in front of their
store. Take photos for delivery to a local newspaper, and/or
for later use. Even a single reporter at the demonstration
can give you publicity you can later send to legislators.
Use Slogan Downloads on this site
for sign suggestions, and see list of Presentation
|RECREATION, Religious, Club, Community
your parks to discontinue use of blowers wherever possible.
Encourage those in charge of your clubs, associations and community
facilities, and the leadership of your house of worship, to discontinue
use of blowers. You will be taken more seriously if you approach
these decision makers in a group, or, perhaps, with a petition
signed by many members in hand. You may have to follow up, or
request a reporter on the local newspaper to do so.
Get support from, or cite the environmental concerns of members
of your faith who may be part of the National
Religious Partnership for the Environment. Members represent
an alliance of major faiths in American, and are probably representative
of all faiths in their respect for the environment.
|STUDIES: Collect signatures on
petitions, or conduct a random study of public opinion or facts,
in a public place.
Use the results to influence public opinion by sharing it with the
Use it to convince elected officials to support new legislation,
or as support or opposition to proposed legislation.
|In California and some other states,
you have a right to assemble in a public place to conduct peaceful
and orderly activities such as petitioning or handing out information.
In PRUNEYARD SHOPPING CENTER ET AL.v ROBINS ET AL., The Supreme
Court of the United States, on June 9, 1980, upheld the California
Supreme Court decision that the California Constitution protects
speech and Petitioning, reasonably exercised, in shopping
centers even when the centers are privately owned
23 Cal.3d899,910,592P.2d341,347 (1979).
See the Supreme Court of the United States case 447 U.S. 74; 100S.
Ct 2035; 1980 U.S. Lexis 129:64L Ed2d741.
Take a copy of this Pruneyard information with you, in case private
security guards are unfamiliar with it, and ask you to leave or
to conduct your activity in an area that removes you from contact
with the public.
Large shopping malls that invite the public to congregate, without
obligation to actually purchase items, are considered public spaces.
Even if they do so in order to encourage window-shopping
that may lead to sales. Individual stores that dont
encourage this activity may not fall under this ruling, however.
Regarding studies of public opinion, unbiased interviewers should
use only randomly picked strangers who do not know the purpose of
the study or the affiliation of the person conducting the interview.
A biased report wont be of value to either side of this issue.
Do not assume the conclusions in advance. Do not make emotional
statements. Be sure that both your questions, and your later
conclusions are phrased in such a way that they cannot be misinterpreted.
Your local library will have books on the subject. See Survey99
suggestions for studies. (Download
Survey99.pdf or Read it Online)
Again, if you want demographics, such as what income level or ethnic
group most represents a particular zip code, try
The ZAP Survey99 represents 38 different zip codes. Comparing
that fact with the high percentage of participants who want blower
bans or restrictions, the survey debunks the claim that only
the rich are bothered by leaf blowers and want bans.
|RESEARCH: Do your own presentation
materials or research for a small or large study to
present to your city or township representative.
See our Presentation List for
materials you can download and print out.
Observation of gardening practices;
- Interviews with gardeners and workers; To gain information
that will help you and others to understand their problems,
and to offer to provide them with information.
- Interviews with neighbors who are disturbed by blower use;
To gain information, in general, or to pass on to legislators
and/or the press, with their permission.
- Video gardening practices; You can photo or video, without
permission, work that is visible from a public place;
- Make audio tapes of gardening machine noise; Chart the actual
decibel level, using a decibel
- Combine video and/or audio tapes with notes youve made
to document decibel levels, length of time, and frequency of
blower use within the hearing or smelling range of your own
- Get maps and graphs of air pollution, by specific pollutants,
in your area from government
web sites and other organizations.
||You may need evidence to prove a nuisance
exists to elected officials, the press, your neighbors that are
away at work all day, or in Small Claims Court. See Deciphering
Public, Private Nuisances (01.8.3).
Perhaps a gardening club would participate in showing other gathering
methods and gardening practices. Videotape their blower-free
work habits for presentation to elected officials or offer free
copies of the videotape to the media for use on television news
or gardening shows.
|INTERVIEWS: Videotape an interview
with one or more health experts.
|Provide copies to local television
news or use in an interview on an existing local public access
television show. Include shots of dust rising from blower
Present the videotapes as part of a health fair, or health education
class at local schools. Give the school district copies and
a write-up for their video library. Then make individual schools
and/or teachers aware of its existence and availability.
|TELEVISION: Create a Public Access
|Once filmed, you can use a 28 minute
public access production (or limited parts of it) to make or prove
a point with local elected officials.
You may film your own Public Access show at your local cable stations
studio, for no charge or at a reasonable price. Make your
show as timeless as possible. Include information
on how others can contact you or your group.
You might try to influence its showing at pertinent times
i.e. a few days before a scheduled council meeting or vote on the
subject. It may, however, be shown primarily in the middle
of the night! (See details)