Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 132 of our Green Year: Turning Leaves Into Fertilizer

It is just about fall, and that means it is the time of year for raking leaves. From now until October, millions of families around North America will be raking leaves off their lawns and putting them into plastic garbage bags to be sent to the landfill, or burning them. Sadly, both of these options are not the best for the environment.

First, putting the leaves in bags and sending to the dump contributes to waste. Yes, the leaves will biodegrade, but the plastic bag will not. Second, burning the leaves releases the carbon dioxide that the trees have stored in them, and it will put soot into the atmosphere. Therefore, neither of these are the best options.

For Layla and I, we will be raking up our lawn, but we will be doing something with the leaves to help the lawn next year. There are two things you can do to make your lawn nice and beautiful next year, and help your garden as well. First, we will be collecting our leaves and not putting them into bags. Instead, we will put the leaves into a compost bin so that they can degrade over the winter and become mulch in the spring. This will allow us to use it in the garden as compost to help the garden grow. Second, we will leave some leaves on the grass and break them up into little pieces with a rake or some other method. The reason for this is that while a layer of leaves can suffocate the lawn, smaller bits of leaves will break down quicker, and provide nutrients for the lawn to help it grow.

Fall is here, and that means Layla and I will be going through a lot of fall green solutions to help us go green in the fall. Stay tuned to the blog to find out how you can go green during the fall. For Layla and I, it is hard to believe that we went through spring, now summer and are entering fall with Our Green Year. That being said, there is still a long way to go!