Recycling Fall Leaves 

The autumn season often brings many changes like going back to school, drops in temperatures, and even different vegetable sprouting from the ground. But one of the biggest and most noticeable changes year after year is leaves turning colorful shades of red and orange, eventually making their way to the ground, scattered across your yard.

But instead of immediately throwing leaves away after you remove them from the yard, consider recycling them for different uses and projects. Here are a few ways we can recycle leaves. All of which save room in the trash can and keep our yard in its best shape.

Garden Compost

Leaves make a great addition to homemade compost whether we’re composting with a bin or yard pile. Combined with kitchen scraps, grass clippings and other compostable materials, leaves decompose and create nutrient-rich compost for our garden. 

Winter Mulch

As winter approaches, we can eliminate the expense and hassle of purchasing mulch by recycling leaves into our own DIY mulch.  We can use freshly fallen leaves, dried leaves or a combination of both. Simply rake the leaves into a pile and redistribute them over garden plants or trees that need extra winter protection. The natural leaf mulch will decompose over time so there is no need to remove it after the winter season is over.

Craft Projects

Most craft projects will not use the large amount of leaves accumulated throughout the fall. However, drying and preserving a few to use in craft projects is a great way to recycle leaves and provides free, natural material for our projects. To preserve leaves for use as art, clean and dry them before laying flat between two sheets of wax paper. Stack them in between two heavy blocks of wood until they dry or use a homemade botanical press.

You can make holiday yard decorations using large amounts of leaves and heavy-duty trash bags. Fill the bags with leaves and shape them into pumpkins, scarecrows, snowmen and other yard decorations. Paint the bags and place them throughout your yard. Make a string garland, display them in a bowl or just scatter them on the table for a pop of fall color.

Using colorful leaves is simply the easiest and most festive way to celebrate the turn in the weather, and what’s more, they are free! 

Click Here for the Best Leaf Craft Ideas! 

Learn more about EvCC Sustainability!

Mariya Zelenskyy – Media and Outreach Coordinator