Get Yo Green On Tuesday – Do Not Burn Your Leaves In Your Garden – Kick It New School – Dispose of Leaves the Green Way!
Fall is upon us and it is almost time to clean up some serious leafage in our gardens. This is the time millions of Americans burn their leaves – the old school way as they have been doing it for generations. According to the EPA, instead of kicking it old school – you should be kicking it new school and disposing of your leaves in a way that does not cause harm to the environment.
Tragically, leaf burning leads to more than just fire hazards and air pollution – it leads to severe allergy and health problems. When you open burn leaves, it produces particulate matter and hydrocarbons. Leaf smoke contains carbon monoxide as well as toxic, irritant, and carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds. These chemicals are particularly damaging to small children and the elderly in your community.
For me personally, simply driving by someone who is burning leaves is enough to throw me into a severe asthma attack and I can be ill for days afterward. Why would you burn leaves and cause your community this kind of misery?
Because of the hazard of open burning, many communities have made it illegal to burn leaves. According to the EPA’s website, “the total health, financial, and environmental costs of leaf burning can be quite high. These costs include: (1) higher incidences of health problems and increased health care costs; (2) higher incidences of home and forest fires and associated property loss and need for increased fire protection; and (3) the clean-up costs associated with soiling of personal property.”
Leaf mold is one of the best compost materials ever. Composting is a fantastic way to create some “garden gold” for your property as well as prevent smoke from burning leaves from entering the atmosphere. Build your own compost bin, or put the leaves in a community composting program – it’s time to change those old habits and try something new which will make a difference for your community.
For more information on Composting 101, please click through and view this link.
Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!
I've only been through two leaf seasons as a homeowner, but it never occurred to me to burn them. The compost pile was one of the first things I added to the yard. I don't even use a bin, just pile the leaves up and bury the food scraps in them. Couldn't be easier and it works great.
I say run over it with the lawn mower if you have a large pile that won't break down quickly.
Great ideas! Thanks for your awesome comments!
We have a leaf blower/vacuum that shreds them into fine pieces and I line all my flower beds with that in the fall here in Wi. Great way to protect flower beds, and by spring it's compost.
Thanks, Shawna, great post. I found you from your Garden Rant post (fabulous, by the way).
Leaf litter is an important connection between healthy soil and healthy plants. It is the best way to feed the soil and therefore the plants.
Leaf litter is also an important habitat for critters who keep our gardens in balance, such as spiders who control many insects.
Thanks for spreading this very important information
I live in a little forest, and while I pile leaves into my flower beds, and shove them into the compost bin, I run out of space really fast.
I learned that if I fill a black trash bag with leaves, poke a few holes in it, and leave it on the back patio for the winter, it turns into some great leaf mold! Plus, I can leave space in the compost bin for kitchen waste. Its a win win situation for me!
Fantastic tips for leaf mold!