Photo credit: Dr. Daniel Fink

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

As those who follow this blog may remember, when I’m not writing about noise issues I’m working as a home handyman fixing things. Ah, the joys of home ownership.

On this week’s journey to a big box DIY store, imagine my surprise but also my happiness to be greeted by this large sign, right inside the entrance, advertising battery-powered yard maintenance equipment.

The quiet revolution is definitely here.

The prices aren’t cheap, but the slogan–what the late adman David Ogilvy called the “unique selling proposition”–is “gas performance, cordless convenience.” The manufacturer even trademarked that slogan.

To me, the biggest advantages of battery-powered yard maintenance equipment go far beyond cordless convenience. You don’t have to store dangerous gasoline in the garage, precisely mix gas and oil, or breathe in harmful fumes from polluting two-stroke engines. And battery-powered equipment is much quieter than gasoline-powered equipment–and easy to start. All one has to do is to push a switch to start the equipment, not pull a cord.

I just use hand tools for whatever yard maintenance I do.

I hope that with competition and further technological advances, the prices will come down, too, and noisy, polluting yard equipment powered by two-stroke gasoline engines will become obsolete.

A quieter world will be a cleaner and healthier world for all.