Every time a snowstorm sweeps the Salt Lake Valley clean, I revel in the crisp, clear air and unobstructed views of our mountains that remain. Then, I hear the roar of the snowblowers; they remind me that the newly clean air will be short-lived. Their exhaust and fumes are a harbinger of the poor air quality we’ll surely experience in the weeks to come.
It’s not just my imagination. Two-stroke engines, which drive most snowblowers, often have no pollution-control devices. This means snowblowers are more polluting than our cars — a fact that is baldly evident to anyone who’s ever breathed around one.
While I recognize that long-term solutions to our air-quality problem will require many, larger sacrifices, I respectfully ask my fellow citizens to make this small step today: retire your snowblowers and take up your snow shovels, in the name of fresh air.
Those of us who are hale enough to hand-shovel our driveways and walks will benefit from the exercise, and all the valley’s residents will benefit from our collective effort. And on those bluebird mornings after a fresh snow, perhaps we can all enjoy the quietude and sweet air a little longer.
Salt Lake City
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