For immediate release
April 4, 2023
Chapel Hill: Ted Rueter, founder and director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, is encouraging all lovers of peace and quiet to send a letter to the editor of their local newspapers concerning Earth Day and noise pollution. Below is a suggested letter (which is around 300 words):
To the editor:
April 22 is Earth Day–a time to respect nature and to protect the earth. Excessive noise is an often-neglected form of environmental pollution, which has been called “the next public health crisis” and “the new second-hand smoke.”
Most Americans are pounded every day by loud noise. On the road, we are bombarded by loud car stereos and thunderous motorcycles. Outside, we are hit with noise from helicopters, airplanes, car traffic, train horns and back-up beepers. In our neighborhoods, we are assaulted with noise from gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers, barking dogs, noisy neighbors, and car alarms. While socializing, we experience very loud sporting events, raucous restaurants, and ear-piercing movie trailers.
All this acoustic chaos is very harmful. High levels are noise levels are associated with hearing loss, sleep deprivation, ringing of the ears, headaches, chronic fatigue, heart disease, and elevated blood pressure. Excessive noise also results in decreased property values and reduced job and academic performance.
Noise is also a climate change issue. An EPA study indicates that a gas-powered leaf blower creates as much nitrogen oxide emissions and volatile organic compounds in one hour as 11 cars being driven for one hour. Lawn and garden equipment is responsible for around five percent of the nation’s air pollution.
Further, noise is an ecosystem issue. High-intensity noise can induce fear, causing species to abandon their habitat. Birds need to chirp louder because of the constant din. Since the 1960s, there has been a 16-fold increase in ocean noise–creating a threat to fish, dolphins, and other marine life.
What can be done? The police should vigorously enforce noise ordinances. Municipalities should ban gas-powered leaf blowers. Congress should reinstate the federal noise pollution control office. Individuals should join Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet.
Here is a listing of major US newspapers: http://www.world-newspapers.com/usa.html
Here is a listing of newspapers by state: http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/usstate/usatable.shtml
Please feel free to edit the sample letter.
When your letter to the editor is published, please let us know about it! Please send a link to [email protected]