Give your leaves a second life
Houston's finally feeling like autumn, and that means leaves are just beginning to fall.
Why it matters: Around this time of year, many of us feel compelled to spend hours on the menial task of shepherding leaves into bags or bins.
💭 Shafaq's thought bubble: You can just leave the leaves.
- They'll break down naturally and enrich your soil.
- Leaves can suppress weeds and be used as a natural mulch.
- They also serve as a habitat for wildlife, including lizards, frogs and insects.
- If you have to clean them for your homeowners association, compost 'em at home. Leaves provide a high-carbon source, and you can grind them up by mower to get them to decompose faster.
Alternatively, you can participate in the City of Houston's yard waste collection program.
- Place the bags at least 3 feet from your garbage cart.
- Make sure your yard waste is not mixed with any other type of waste.
- You can also drop the yard waste at an approved depository and recycling center.
- Of note: There may be delays in pickup due to staff shortages.
- Wait till right after a rain, when the leaves clump together nicely, making them easier to rake up.
- Or use a small child to stuff down the leaves. Gently lift a sub-6-year-old by the armpits and place him or her in the seemingly full-of-leaves garbage can. Ask the child to stomp or dance.
The bottom line: Don't let "nature's nutrient recyclers" end up in the landfill.
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