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!