Fall leaves are beautiful, wonderful to see as the colors change, fantastic to pile up and dive into, and great for school projects. Leaves are all good...until it comes time to raking them off your lawn and getting rid of 'em. But, apparently, we don't need to bother.

Biologists at the National Wildlife Federation are my new best friends. These experts have declared that raking leaves is unnecessary and unhealthy. Amen. Here's the Cliffs Notes version, according to the NWF, of why you don't NEED to rake leaves off your lawn (along with a few parenthetical counterpoints and comments mixed in, for argument's sake):

1. It's unnatural
A deep leaf layer is natural and forms its own ecosystem. (Unless you have a deep aversion to slugs.)

2. Help Wildlife
A lot of wildlife rely on fallen leaves for shelter and food. (Although you may not WANT to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on to your property.)

3. Free fertilizer and mulch
Fallen leaves decompose and add nutrients to the soil. (Some people add that you may want to mow them first, then leave the chopped up leaves as fertilizer.)

4. Love your birds and butterflies
Often times larvae are attached to fallen leaves. So, if you rake and remove leaves, you're getting rid of butterflies, and less butterflies may mean fewer birds in your yard, if you like that kind of wildlife.

5. Reduce waste
Using plastic bags for raked leaves accounts for roughly 33 million tons of waste each year in landfills. (Tough to argue this point.)

6. Don't pollution
Leaf blowers often use gas which equals pollution. (Go green or at least use an electric blower.)

7. Relax
Why waste your time and and break your back doing something you really don't HAVE to do? (Kick back and enjoy a nice fall adult beverage instead of raking.)

What do you think, Central New York? Who's with me on the Great Leaf Raking Boycott of 2018?

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