Save on Pinterest

11 Things You Should NOT Do With Your Fallen Leaves

If you don't want to annoy your neighbors, harm the environment or create a health risk, avoid these bad practices for dealing with fallen leaves.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

1 / 11
Fall Leaves In Storm DrainDaveAlan/Getty Images

Don’t Rake Them Into the Street

Many places have made it illegal to rake your leaves into the street. Leaves and other vegetation or debris swept into the street creates an unsightly, soggy mess. But even more importantly, raking leaves into the street can block storm drains, which can result in flooding.

2 / 11
fireDory F/Shutterstock

Don’t Burn Leaves in Your Yard

Burning leaves in your yard is illegal in many places. Irritants carried into the air by smoke can cause respiratory problems. It addition, the fire could get out of hand and sparks could ignite flammable items in your yard or your neighbor’s.

3 / 11
leaves Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

Don’t Rake Them Into Your Neighbor’s Yard

Among the list of things you shouldn’t do if you want to remain on good terms with your neighbors, raking your pile of leaves (or blowing them) into their yard definitely ranks near the top!

4 / 11
219899284Irra/Shutterstock

Don’t Throw Them in the Trash

Some cities have banned “clean and green” materials from residential garbage collection. Composting organic yard debris, like fallen leaves, conserves limited landfill space and produces a valuable resource! Instead, build a compost bin or use a yard waste service.

5 / 11
smokeToro_the_Bull/Shutterstock

Skip the Leaf Blower

Some places have banned leaf blowers because they’re loud and create noise pollution. They also stir up a lot of unpleasant dust.

6 / 11
mowkonecny/Shutterstock

Don’t Forget to Shred Before Composting

If you already practice composting in your yard, remember to shred leaves before adding them to the pile. They decompose faster when shredded and it also prevents matting. Running the lawnmower over them quickly shreds them with little effort. You can also get a leaf mulcher for large amounts of leaves.

7 / 11
carkozirsky/Shutterstock

Don’t Park Your Car Near Leaves

Parking on piles of fallen leaves creates a fire hazard. Dry leaves may ignite and the resulting fire can quickly overtake your car. Also, it’s best to avoid parking your car under trees that are shedding leaves, if possible. The leaves can cause stains and get lodged in air vents, so take a moment to pull them out before you drive.

8 / 11
rake EdBockStock/Shutterstock

Don’t Forget Protective Gear

Wear protective clothing, such as gloves, shoes that won’t slip on damp patches and a brace if you have back issues. If cool temps haven’t eliminated flying pests, consider applying some insect repellent so you don’t end up with bites or stings.

9 / 11
kidRichard A. McGuirk/Shutterstock

Don’t Rake Too Hard

When you rake, avoid working too vigorously or deeply. This can cause fatigue in your hands, arms, shoulders and back. While that may not sound too serious, this fatigue can cause you to throw out your back, particularly if you don’t maintain proper posture. Also avoid bearing down too hard while raking, and keep your knees bent and back straight — allow your legs to do some of the work. It’s good to drive the tines into the thatch layer to dislodge it, but don’t overdo it on tender, new grass.

10 / 11

bagGalushko Sergey/Shutterstock

Don’t Forget to Use Biodegradable Bags

If your area doesn’t offer community composting, your bags of lawn waste can end up in the landfill. Furthermore, if you don’t use biodegradable bags, then the bag and leaves become environmentally unfriendly.

11 / 11
woodsAleksandar Hajdukovic/Shutterstock

Don’t Dump Leaves “Down the Hill”

If you live above a ravine, dumping leaves down the hillside could destabilize the slope. While it may be tempting, don’t create a dangerous environment where people or animals might get hurt. Take care of your pile of leaves the right way.

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com

Newsletter Unit

CMU Unit

cover
Subscribe & SAVE 1 Year Subscription
for only $10!