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No More Raking Leaves! You’re Actually Harming The Environment

No More Raking Leaves! You’re Actually Harming The Environment

Stop raking leaves this fall! Is this encouraging you to stay on the couch and not lift a finger in the garden? Well, partly, but the fact is that the National Wildlife Federation is telling us that we are actually harming the environment, disturbing many creatures’ habitats, and preventing the soil from being fertilized in the best possible and most natural way. You might think you are doing a service in keeping your neighborhood tidy and neat but you are not! Just put away that rake, would you?

Let us look at the leaves in more detail and how they actually protect the wildlife in your garden. Here are five excellent reasons why giving up raking may be good for your garden and the environment.

1. You want more butterflies

I noticed in our garden that there were fewer butterflies this last spring and summer. That got me thinking and one reason may be that I did a lot of raking last fall. So, what was I doing wrong? Well, a lot, actually.

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It seems that a lot of insects use the leaf cover as a way to wait out the winter season. This is also known as overwintering. They need their habitat whether they are in egg or pupal form so that they can emerge in the spring. They will also provide vital food for the birds who feed their young. The survivors will then feed off your flowers and provide lots of other benefits for the environment. More importantly, they are great pollinators, along with bees so it is well worth looking after them. Let’s not forget that the world’s food supply depends on pollination.

2. You want fewer weeds

Did you know that the leaf layer on the lawn is actually going to help you control the weeds which have plagued you ever since you laid it? If you manage to shred the leaves with the aid of the lawn mower, all the better, as they will help to control the weeds. Mowing the lawn without the bin can help to scatter them more evenly. This sort of mulching done every fall will help to curb the growth of dandelions and crabgrass.

You can also store some chopped up leaves for your compost maker, if you have one. Remember you will also be reducing the tons of yard waste that burden our landfill sites every year.

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3. You want cleaner air

I was going to buy a leaf blower. Now, I am very glad I didn’t because not only have I saved money but I am contributing to cleaner air. Those blowers use fossil fuel and they also make a lot of noise. All those bags of leaves are usually transported by trucks using more gasoline and that means more air pollution.

The newer type of blowers can shred leaves as they suck them up so if they run on electricity, they can be useful.

4. You want more natural fertilizer

If you are getting rid of the most natural fertilizer that your garden has in abundance and replacing it by using synthetic fertilizers (made from petroleum, mostly), well, it just doesn’t make any sense.

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Leaves in the forest are never raked up and they provide the soil there with vital organisms. These leaves are full of nutritious elements for your plants, grass and flowers, so leave them there. They contain twice the mineral content of manure, for example.

If you do use the lawn mower bin, you can mix grass clippings with chopped up leaves and put them in the flower beds as mulch. It helps keep the soil damp and also provides great breeding ground for the micro organisms in the soil.

5. You want to protect the wildlife

A layer of leaves is its own mini-ecosystem. Don’t rake them up and bin them because there are many animals and insects that rely on these to find food and also to use as housing. You might not approve of some of the neighbors in the leaf layer mix but some of the more desirable ones are the shrews, chipmunks and box turtles.

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Now you know why raking leaves is really a waste of time and you are not helping wildlife or the environment in any way. Gardening is good for you but you can put raking leaves at the bottom of your list. You can tell your neighbors about this if you feel energetic enough or you can have another snooze!

Featured photo credit: Laura subsumed by a leaf pile 20081004-133357/Paul via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Freelance writer

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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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