Nature wants you to stop doing lawn work!


Mara Batt, Writer

Tired of your parents telling you to do lawn work? Well, now you have the perfect reason not to! If you want a thriving lawn, raking and blowing could, in some cases, be the worst things you could do. When leaves decompose they work as a natural fertilizer. As they break down, they will nourish your lawn and improve the overall health of the soil. Many people get rid of their leaves in the fall and then wonder why their lawn struggles the next spring. This leads them to using chemical fertilizers on their grass.

Give yourself, your lawn, and the environment a break. A leaf covered lawn might not fit into your image of the American dream, but this decomposition process is a vital part of the ecosystem. A layer of fallen leaves also creates a habitat for many species in the fall. Creatures include box turtles, chipmunks, toads, salamanders, worms and butterfly pupae. By raking leaves, you are killing baby butterflies!

It is recommended that you still clear off your sidewalks and driveway. Wet and decomposing leaves can be slippery and dangerous for pedestrians. And if you feel your life would be absolutely incomplete without hours of lawn work each week in the fall, there are still some things you can do to be environmentally conscious. You could start a compost pile, use them in your flower or garden beds, or take them to the recycling center. If your yard has a lot of trees that shed leaves, you may want to do some maintenance here and there. A thin layer of leaves is best. More than that will smother your lawn and most likely will not completely break down over the winter.

The borough of Stroudsburg does offer leaf pick-up services. Everything they collect is recycled and re-purposed as mulch. However, this service is only offered up to November 18. So any remaining leaves you want to dispose of would have to be bagged and set out as trash. But bagging leaves is extremely detrimental to the environment. If oxygen canai??i??t reach the leaves, they will not properly decompose and this will cause them to release methane gas, which is one of the most harmful greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

You may think that an easy solution to this is burning the leaves. This used to be a common practice across America, but newer policies either ban or discourage it due to similar air pollution consequences. Burnt leaves also release a lot of airborne particles that could threaten your health, such as dust, soot, and other solid materials.

So, if you still have leaves to dispose of after November 18, either take them to your recycling center or find a local forest where you can distribute them. It might be out of your way, but it is for a worthy cause.

NoniLand Honey: The Taste of Paradise