On X, formerly known as Twitter, 18-year-old user Madi/Venus (@MiceOnVenu) has offered a clever workaround for eco-conscious homeowners pushed into unwanted lawn care by their homeowners associations.
The discussion started with an unhappy thread by user Touchmoonflower (@touchmoonflower) about the United States’ nonsensical attitude toward autumn leaves, which Touchmoonflower called “a bright and shining example of the suicidal absurdity of technocapitalist society.”
also if you’re under pressure by an HOA or neighbors and forced to dispose of leaves, another good option is to just mow the leaves into pieces to let the nutrients return to the soil. the shreds will disappear even sooner and in my experience make for a healthier lawn next year https://t.co/Ue0SQYsPLN— Madi/Venus🏳️⚧️ (@MiceOnVenu) November 15, 2023
“Deciduous trees spend all Spring taking nutrients out of the soil to make leaves,” they said. “When the cold comes, those leaves fall … All across this great land, people proceed to fire up specialized machines literally called ‘leaf blowers.’”
As Touchmoonflower pointed out, homeowners burn air-polluting fuels to blow the leaves into piles so they can be bagged up in polluting plastic, thrown onto polluting trucks, and carried to landfills. There, because the leaves are trapped inside bags without air, they break down into sludge and more polluting gases instead of turning into natural fertilizer, as they would if left on the ground.
“This entire process means that, wherever modern humans congregate, the soil quickly becomes impoverished, as the nutrients required for cyclic leaf production are removed, rather than stored in the ground,” said Touchmoonflower. “It is all so astonishingly pointless and debased and wasteful.”
Experts have advised letting leaves stay on the ground if possible. They provide free fertilizer for your yard, plus they feed and shelter beneficial bugs through the winter, making this a crucial step in eco-friendly gardening.
As one commenter summed it up, “Leave the leaves!”
“That’s why they’re called that,” Touchmoonflower replied.
However, as Madi pointed out, that isn’t always possible due to rules in the community. “If you’re under pressure by an HOA or neighbors and forced to dispose of leaves, another good option is to just mow the leaves into pieces to let the nutrients return to the soil,” Madi suggested. “The shreds will disappear even sooner and in my experience make for a healthier lawn next year.”
You can also work with your HOA to change the rules in your neighborhood and allow the leaves to stay in place.
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