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Next Time You Rake Leaves, Consider the Damage to the Ecosystem

Next Time You Rake Leaves, Consider the Damage to the Ecosystem

Quick: What’s the first thing you do when the leaves start to fall? My guess is you answered “Tell my son to get off his butt and get to raking!” Well, don’t let him read what I’m about to tell you: Raking leaves is actually bad for the environment.

Okay, well it’s not exactly bad, but by displacing leaves from where they naturally fell, you’re not doing your yard any favors, either. And it makes sense. Think about it: For hundreds, thousands, even millions of years, leaves went un-raked when they fell from their lofty heights. The whole idea of clearing your yard is a relatively new phenomenon, and the only reason we really do it in the first place is to make our yard look cleaner.

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But by “cleaning up” our yard, we’re actually taking away from the natural processes that come along with crispy, dead leaves. Here’s what your yard misses out on whenever you remove those crunchy pieces of autumn from it:

1. Reduced Nutrients

Like I said, the Earth existed for billions of years before humans arrived, and trees have definitely been around for much longer than we have. Have we not realized that Mother Nature knows exactly what she’s doing? The fallen leaves keep the soil in a natural equilibrium over the cold winter months, enriching it so it can act as a home to a variety of plant life the following spring. By taking the dead leaves away, we deprive our yards of the nutrients it needs to produce grass and flowers the following year.

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2. Reduced Protection for Wildlife

That birdhouse you bought for your backyard might be able to house a family of small birds, but the leaves on your front lawn can provide for hundreds of birds, squirrels, and other animals over the winter. Dead leaves provide valuable nutrients to the insects in your yard as well, which are an important part of the world’s ecosystem. By leaving your lawn as nature intended throughout the fall, you’re helping the rest of the animal kingdom survive the harsh winter that is to come.

3. Reduced Microbes

If you aren’t too familiar with what mulch actually is, it’s mostly made up of organic microbes that help keep your ground healthy by continuing the life cycle of the tiniest organisms. Of course, those who do mulch usually have a small mulch pile somewhere in the corner of the their backyard. But keeping a layer of leaves on your lawn actually turns your entire yard into a mulch pile. National Wildlife Federation Naturalist David Mizejewski says, “Fallen leaves offer a double benefit. Leaves form a natural mulch that helps suppress weeds and fertilizes the soil as it breaks down.” How many of you buy weed killer and grass seed in the spring? You wouldn’t need to if you didn’t rake your lawn.

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What to Do Instead

Okay, I understand that once the dead leaves get all soggy it doesn’t look so aesthetically pleasing. But you do have some options that don’ require you to get rid of them completely.

We spoke of creating mulch, or composting. If you don’t want your entire yard to be a mulch pit, rake your leaves into the back corner of your yard where you won’t constantly be stepping on the soft, earthy compost. You’ll be doing your part, and your yard will look like you want it to.

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Or you could rake the leaves into piles, then spread them over your garden or flowerbeds. By concentrating the leaves into the areas you want to flourish most, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor, and saving time, energy, and money in the long run!

Featured photo credit: The Autumn Leaves/ Linda D. via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Is It Necessary To Follow Traffic Rules?

Is It Necessary To Follow Traffic Rules?

On a daily basis, we constantly hear news about different forms of road accidents, either because of some stupid drivers who recklessly drives their vehicle, over-speeding, and the list goes on. The dumbest mistakes people ever make we put all the blame to our government – for providing insufficient funds to spend with road widening, infrastructure upgrades, better traffic system, and best walkie-talkie[1] or radar speed gun for law enforcement. The lack of employment, low quality of education, corruption, sudden increase of necessity prices, and the unfinished road construction projects. Sometimes, we, as citizens, often forget that we also play a very important role in the chain process, and thus we should not put all the blame to our government.

Common Sense

There is no point denying that it is actually the government’s role to provide us good road and road signs. But if citizens do not actually follow these traffic rules as the basis of standards, how can they ever guarantee our safety? Yes, you may excuse yourself for not knowing the standard safety measures, but come on! We are not children anymore. Simple 1-2-3’s and a little common sense will do.

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Motorcycles

Owning a car or a motorcycle is great; it helps keep us on track in our fast paced lives. But, if we do not abide by the simple safety driving procedures, you definitely are at risk. In 2012, Los Angeles County alone, 59% motorcyclists were killed. This is more than 2010. And by 2013, California ranked third for motorcycle fatalities.[2] Thus, it is very important to buckle up your belts, wear your helmet and follow the traffic lights and other street signs. They serves as a warning. There could be some dangerous road ahead or any untoward incidences, and once you will not follow this and take proper precaution, trouble always meet you ahead, either a severe accident or a police honking you to pull over. And you know what will happen next.

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Walking

People who lives some blocks away from their workplace usually prefer to take a walk instead of driving their vehicle. This could save them a considerable amount of money on fuel. Plus it is a great way to exercise. Even so, although you are simply walking, it still is important to follow the road traffic signs. Wait for the green signal before crossing the lane, no matter if you are in a hurry or not. A lot of road accidents happen because some passersby merely doesn’t follow the traffic light signals. Also, do not forget to walk only in between the white lanes, or the so-called pedestrian lines.

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Final Thoughts

The issues and problems on the roads will never be resolve and forever will stay unless the citizens truly realize how necessary it is to follow traffic rules and regulations. As drivers, we are suppose to stay on our right lane, steer at the right speed, and follow every traffic sign. As pedestrian walkers, we are expected to cross at the right place, at the right time. If each party cooperates, we can achieve a harmonious flow of traffic.

Of course, we all live in an era where all of us are in a hurry and one simply cannot afford to waste time. But, being hasty can bring a lot more trouble and can basically cause more delay. There is no mad science to resolve road accidents or to keep ourselves safe and secure while on the streets. It all depends if all of us will submit to the traffic rules the government has set before us.

What are your thoughts about following traffic rules?

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Reference

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