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Young Adults and Addiction: The Benefits of Inpatient Care

For many young people, drug use and experimentation is a rite of passage of sorts. However, experimenting with drugs and alcohol is far from harmless, and can often result in lifelong...

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Our Going Green Experts

Ron Dembo

Ron Dembo

Professor, author and founder of Zerofootprint.net

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Josh Dorfman

Josh Dorfman

Author and radio show host known as The Lazy Environmentalist...

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Jennifer Hattam

Jennifer Hattam

Journalist and blogger at The Green Life

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A Trashy Way to Go Green

A Trashy Way to Go Green

The fall season brings with it a beauteous array of autumnal colors, but, eventually, they meet their fate and fall to the ground. Once the neighborhood kids have their fun, you're the one left to clean up the mess. While it might seem that tidying up your yard is the best way to keep the planet tidy, you might not be doing the green thing after all.

Consider this for an eye-opener: Up to 50% of the waste we send to landfills is biodegradable and compostable. That means that instead of crowding the dump, you could be using your leaves to grow a tree or colorful spring flowers.

Instead of bagging your foliage, shred your leaves with a lawnmower or leaf shredder. Add some grass clippings (since they help leaves biodegrade more quickly), and you have yourself a recipe for growing trees, flowers and shrubs. Just spread mulch four to six inches deep around trees, and two to three inches around flowers and shrubs.

The bonus? Mulching with leaves will help keep garden water usage to a minimum by as much as 25%. It also pumps soil with nutrients and it helps control weeds by keeping sunlight at bay.

If you don’t have the pricey equipment to shred leaves, check out Earth 911 to locate a waste management facility that will pick them up curbside. Just enter your zip code and the word “compost.” [Ideal Bite]

Posted: 10/7/08