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Publication Date


Document Type


Study Type

ENV 312


Environmental Science and Policy


Alex Barron and Dano Weisbord


air pollution, Botanic Garden, carbon neutrality, climate change, decarbonization, electrification, gas-powered tools, Grounds, landscape management, noise pollution


Our project has emerged out of the broader context of climate change and the reality that decarbonization is essential to its mitigation. Smith College’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 provides an incentive to decarbonize its landscape management fleet via electrification. Landscape management tools account for a minimal portion of Smith’s direct carbon emissions. Nevertheless, we firmly believe that switching from gas-powered tools to electric tools is the right course of action. Rather than simply advocating for the reduction of carbon emissions in the name of complying with Smith’s carbon neutrality goal, we address deeper concerns on campus about the ramifications of gas-powered landscape management tools on employee well-being, noise pollution, and the emission of carcinogens and particulate matter that are damaging to humans.


©2020 the authors