Here’s the easiest promise you’ll ever make: I’ll never rake leaves again. Raking leaves wastes energy — yours and your community’s, which spends lots of tax dollars collecting and disposing of leaves each fall.
Instead of raking, U.S. communities are asking residents to mulch leaves in place — taking a couple of passes over fallen leaves with their regular lawnmower or with a special mulching mower. Once the leaves are pulverized, they’ll decompose, sink into and nourish your lawn.
Homeowners also can collect the shredded leaves in mower grass catchers, then scatter them around trees and flower beds as mulch, or add them to their compost pile.
Westchester County, New York, estimates that it spends up to $4 million each year carting away 60,000 tons of raked leaves. So the New York suburb has instituted its “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em” initiative to reduce organic yard waste.
Not convinced that shredding leaves is right for you? Here are four reasons to give up raking. (Like you needed more than one).
- Mowing leaves is easier than raking, bagging or blowing them to the curb.
- Pulverized leaves decompose and nourish your lawn, reducing needs for fertilizer.
- Transporting raked leaves contributes to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Shredding leaves saves tax money by reducing municipal leaf collection and disposal.