Hi Green Living Enthusiasts,
Yesterday, my organic farmer boyfriend, Dave, and I were remarking about the number of leaves that have already fallen along the private road to his house and how we felt no need to rake them. They aren’t covering any grass, so we figured they’d just become mulch on the side of the road and under the trees.
But, what do you do if you have a bunch of leaves on your lawn?
1. Use a mulching lawnmower to grind them into smaller pieces and then put them on your garden or other landscaped area.
You will add nutrients to that soil from the bacteria in the leaves and create a relatively heavy mulch that isn’t as likely to be blown away by the wind-protecting from soil erosion too.
2. Put the leaves in your compost pile.
For those not familiar with composting, you can also add the following ingredients to your compost pile (and shredding them increases the speed at which the materials break down): hay; sawdust; wood ashes; garden trimmings; nut shells; vegetable, fruit and grain food waste; cardboard without ink; some kind of animal manure (chicken is especially good), and I know it sounds disgusting to some, but dried blood (you can buy it at a local garden store).
3. If you don’t have or don’t want a compost pile where you live, some communities allow you to bag up the leaves in paper bags (ideally) and leave them on the side of your street or road for pickup.
Avoid bagging them in plastic because the bag will just sit in a landfill and not break down.
Contact your local town or city to find out about such a program.
4. Use the leaves in a craft project or donate them to a local school.
You can stuff a scarecrow with leaves, press them and make cards or other artsy items, or whatever your imagination can create.
5. Don’t burn them.
It doesn’t smell very good and can release dangerous toxins into the air. The EPA says, “The open burning of leaves produces particulate matter and hydrocarbons, which contain a number of toxic, irritant, and carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds. Leaf smoke also contains carbon monoxide. ” (http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/burn/leafburn2.html)