Off-Road Equipment

The Off-Road Equipment strategy of the City's Climate Action Plan (CAP) aims to cut back on emissions by prohibiting the use of gas-powered two-stroke leaf blowers. Transitioning away from fossil fuel powered landscape equipment will decrease greenhouse gas emissions, reduce noise from yard care activities, reduce air particulates and debris, and prevent many other harmful emissions from polluting the air.

Implementation of this strategy is estimated to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions by 130 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) by 2020 and 140 MTCO2e by 2030.  Explore the sections below to see what the City is doing to achieve these goals.

Infographic Leaf blower reduction goals: by 2020 - 130 metric tons of CO2 reduced. By 2030, 140 metric tons of CO2 reduced.

Leaf blower reduction goals: by 2020 - 130 metric tons of CO2 reduced. By 2030, 140 metric tons of CO2 reduced.

Leaf Blower Use

Leaf Blower Emissions

The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by phasing out the use of gas-powered two-stroke engine leaf blowers throughout the City of Encinitas. According to the California Air Resources Board, two‐stroke leaf blowers are among the top four most used types of off-road equipment.

The CAP estimated that 20% of the emissions from lawn and garden equipment could be attributed to two‐stroke leaf blowers. The CAP estimated that phasing out the use of gas-powered two-stroke leaf blowers would reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 130 MTCO2e by 2020 and 140 MTCO2e by 2030. In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, two-stroke engine leaf blowers are known to emit a number of other harmful air pollutants because a portion of the fuel does not undergo complete combustion during operation.

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) have a natural heat trapping capacity which varies by gas. Humans produce more carbon dioxide (CO2) than any other GHG. We count emissions of GHGs based on how each GHG’s heat trapping capacity compares to CO2s. This is called the "CO2 equivalent" (CO2e). We measure GHGs in metric tons of CO2e (MTCO2e)
MTCO2eMetric Tons Carbon Dioxide Equivalent


Leaf Blower Use

Clean Up Alternatives

Alternatives to gas-powered leaf blowers include electric and battery powered leaf blowers, human-powered equipment, and preventing the need for equipment through smart landscaping and planning.  These alternative options generate less noise and little to no harmful air pollutants. 

In August 2019, City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2019-06, prohibiting the use or operation of any leaf blower powered by a gasoline combustion engine (two-stroke or four-stroke) within City limits. Additionally, the ordinance regulates the allowed hours of operation of all leaf blowers and prohibits leaf blowers from depositing waste (leaves, debris, etc.) onto a neighboring property, street, sidewalk, gutter, or storm drain. The ordinance went into full effect on January 20, 2020.


Reduce Off-Road Fuel Use

How You Can Help

There are several ways to do your part to help the City achieve its goals for reducing emissions from off-road equipment:

Switch to an electric or battery-powered leaf blower

See Options
Read more about the City’s Environmental Commission

Commission home page
Rent a rake from the Solana Center

Borrow Tools

Status of CAP Implementation