Nature Wants You to Stop Raking Leaves
We should let nature take back the yard.
Any reason not to rake the leaves is a good one in my book. However, the National Wildlife Federation writes, “Just let leaves stay where they fall.”
When homeowners let the leaves fall (and keep them there), a mini ecosystem begins to grow. Moth and butterfly species pass through the winter as pupae, taking shelter underneath fallen leaves. These insects in turn provide food for the birds once the snow begins to thaw.
Lawns are a marker of suburban America, but they take up a lot of space, like three times the space of irrigated corn. In a 2005 study, NASA reported that “[t]urf grasses, occupying 1.9 percent of the surface of the continental United States, would be the single largest irrigated crop in the country."
In a 2005 study, NASA reported that “[t]urf grasses, occupying 1.9% of the surface of the continental United States, would be the single largest irrigated crop in the country."
This space doesn't need to be mowed or raked. Lawns could be transformed into mini sanctuaries in suburban sprawls. Sarah Baker did just that on her one-acre plot just outside of Alexandria, Ohio. “A mowed lawn, put simply, is habitat loss,” she explained. “It’s a barren wasteland that provides no food or shelter for wildlife. It’s a virtual green desert.”
“Nature preserves and parks are not enough to fix the problem; much of wildlife is migratory and needs continuous habitat to thrive,” Baker wrote in a piece for The Washington Post. “Natural yards can act as bridges between the larger natural spaces.
Consider the bee. We're seeing die-off rates and colony collapses, and scientists aren't entirely sure why. As a way to help the bee, Norway's capital city, Oslo, created a “bee highway” along the rooftops. Beehives and flowers on the roofs of Oslo's buildings help give bees the food and shelter they need in order to survive the journey.
“We are constantly reshaping our environment to meet our needs, forgetting that other species also live in it,” Agnes Lyche Melvaer, head of the environmental group leading the bee highway project, said in an interview with The Guardian.
While I can appreciate a finely manicured lawn, we may need to let nature have its way or, at the very least, our back yard.
Mitchell Joachim describes the "non-future" of suburban sprawl and the need to rethink mobility in America: to uplift future-less locales and place them along moving, smart, renewable grids.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
Photo Credit: MARTIN GERTEN / Getty Staff
The findings are based on a phenomenon known as the "Mighty Girl Effect."
- The study tracked the responses of more than 5,000 men over the course of a decade.
- The results showed that men who lived with daughters were less likely to hold traditional views on gender relations and roles.
- This effect seemed to be strongest as the daughters entered secondary-school age.
There might be hope for our oceans, thanks to one clumsy moment in a coral tank.
- David Vaughan at the Mote Laboratory is growing coral 40 times faster than in the wild.
- It typically takes coral 25 to 75 years to reach sexual maturity. With a new coral fragmentation method, it takes just 3.
- Scientists and conservationists plan to plant 100,000 pieces of coral around the Florida Reef Tract by 2019 and millions more around the world in the years to come.
The billionaire entrepreneur predicts the rise of technology will soon force society to rethink the modern work week.
- Branson made the argument in a recent blog post published on the Virgin website.
- The 40-hour work week stems from labor laws created in the early 20th century, and many have said this model is becoming increasingly obsolete.
- The average American currently works 47 hours per week, on average.
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