It's that time of year when more leaves are on the ground than on the trees.
Our first instinct may be to bag them up and throw them away, but it's estimated 8 million tons of bagged leaves end up in landfills each year.
More environmentalists are bringing attention to the benefits of just leaving them be.
”So the leaves are a great source of nutrients and organic matter and should be returned to the soil, which is the natural process that occurs in forests, and that's why forests are some of the richest landscapes in the world,” said Susan Barton, a professor at the University of Delaware.
She said you want to make sure the leaves only stay on the lawn while it’s dormant in the cold weather. Otherwise, it can block sunlight and keep grass from growing.
She also understands that some people may find dead leaves to be an eyesore. There are solutions to both problems.
“You can either use a mulching lawnmower that will mulch up the leaves and allow them to just sift back into the lawn, or you can collect them,” she said. “You can rake them into landscape beds that are also part of your landscape, and there they will decompose, form a mulch, and like I said, be a good resource for your garden.
That can also save you money. Depending on how big a garden is, buying mulch for it can cost hundreds of dollars.
You can also avoid putting leaves in a landfill by seeing if there are any landscaping businesses in your area that would want them.
Some cities also have programs that will collect leaves from homeowners to compost them.