Is there ever a time when one doesn't have to rake the yard? In the spring, summer, and maybe fall, it's grass clippings, and primarily in the fall, it's tons and tons of fallen leaves. The leaves you pile up to jump into, the leaves you stuff into a giant smiling jack-o-lantern (garbage bag) with for Halloween decor, the leaves that fill the gutters, and so on.

As it now turns out, you can put the rake down, because all those leaves can be reused/recycled to feed the grass and to help the environment. I live in a shared house, so I never have personally raked leaves, but man there's a lot and sometimes, they hide my car. Yes, there's a bad side to leaves too, and not just the raking chore or the goal to have a clean yard.

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Experts say leave most of those leaves right where they may fall. Not only can they help feed and fertilize the grass, but they can also provide shelter for animals--think earthworms and emissions from landfills. You can reduce landfill emissions by not bagging up leaves and hauling them off as trash.

You may also want to think twice about using a leaf blower as that process could possibly clog grates preventing water from draining off the street properly.

Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash
Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

On the other hand, back to the leaves covering almost my entire car, those can be bad news, as I found out at my last service appointment. I had no idea leaves that were falling on my car were causing a possible engine problem. My air filter had to be replaced and it was then suggested I try and cover where my windshield wipers are. I park under a huge tree that is phenomenal for shade in the summer heat. There is a downside to every upside.

Leaves can also damage your car's paint, and that also involves sap and pollen. Looks like I need to make it a habit of cleaning off the leaves more often.


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