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7 Reasons Not to Rake Your Leaves

Fall leaves are not a nuisance. They’re part of the natural ecosystem, providing free mulch and fertilizer, wildlife habitat, and a beautiful array of butterflies and birds in the spring.
By Return to Now / returntonow.net
Nov 16, 2018
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7 Reasons Not to Rake Your Leaves

Biologists at the National Wildlife Federation are urging people to stop raking their leaves.

Here’s why: 

1. It’s unnatural. Leaves are meant to stay where they fall for all the reasons below. “A leaf layer several inches deep is a natural thing in any area where trees naturally grow,” NWF says on its website. The leaf layer is its own mini ecosystem.

2. Wild Life Habitat. Many wildlife species live in or rely on the leaf layer for shelter and food, including salamanders, chipmunks, box turtles, toads, shrews, earthworms, many insects species.

3. Free fertilizer and mulch. For gardeners, fallen leaves offer a double benefit. They form a natural mulch that helps suppress weeds and, as they decompose, they add nutrients to the soil. Why spend money on mulch and fertilizer when the trees will do it for you? 

4. The Birds and the Butterflies. Along with the leaves you’re throwing away butterfly and moth pupae attached to them. Not only will you not have any beautiful butterflies in your yard come spring, you also won’t have many birds, who rely on caterpillars to feed their babies.

5. Reduce Waste. Throwing away leaves in plastic bags is very wasteful. Yard trimmings account for around 13 of solid waste (approximately 33 million tons) in landfills.

6. Reduce Pollution. Gas leaf blowers and the trucks used to haul them away cause pollution. So does artificial fertilizer run-off, which is contributing to the largest “dead zone” on Earth in the Gulf of Mexico. There is no run-off from leaf fertilizer.

7. Save time and your back. You have enough work to do, why add another counterproductive chore? If you have to rake your leaves, compost them or send them to a community garden. Anywhere but a landfill.

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We believe the first step to achieve this goal should be an information delivery network that can amplify the impacts of all our efforts 1000 fold. 

Although Films For Action is centered around film - its true objective is the transformation of the world. This means moving away from the unsustainable paradigm we have now to a regenerative paradigm, as fast as humanly possible.  

Film is the medium of delivery -- the catalyst, the metabolizing agent to speed up, amplify and multiply the effects of every transition movement on the planet. And of course, "transition" contains it all - social justice, ecological regeneration, true democracy, egalitarian economics, universal empathy, less cultural insanity and more happiness and well-being.

All of these movements need a media ecosystem that supports this transition, rather than the media we have today which marginalizes it, ignores it, sanitizes it, suppresses it, or actively fights it. There is certainly good coverage across many different news outlets, and the quality and depth varies, but in terms of volume, the good stuff is easily lost in the deluge of superficial concerns.

Watch any network TV channel for 24 hours or read the newspaper for a week, and you will see what we mean. The dominant narratives which drive the national debate and become "common knowledge" is more often superficial, focused on symptoms rather than root causes, and reinforces the conventional "two sides" within the status quo. The lies and spin promoted by figures in power become well known, while voices that challenge and expand the range of debate rarely get heard. But most importantly, the level of repetition and volume of coverage is what counts. What gets covered day after day, and what gets covered once and is forgotten, or not covered at all? That's why we need a media movement that's dedicated to elevating the voices that aren't getting heard. We need media alternatives that make social change its primary focus. That's why Films For Action exists.

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