TikToker has an adorable Fall PSA: Leave the leaves!

Columbus, Ohio - Looking to kick a chore off your to-do list without breaking a sweat? Forager and TikToker Alexis Nikole, suggests you refrain from raking those fall leaves.

Forager extraordinaire Alexis Nikole took to social media with a message for the masses: "leave the leaves!"
Forager extraordinaire Alexis Nikole took to social media with a message for the masses: "leave the leaves!"  © collage: Screenshot/Instagram/blackforager

For lots of people, part of prepping the yard for the winter includes the backbreaking work of raking all those brown fallen leaves across the lawn.

But as James Beard Award-winning forager Alexis Nikole says in her latest TikTok PSA, which boasts over 600,000 views, the leaves aren't a problem: "They're not gonna break into your house ... They're not gonna beat up your dog and steal his lunch money."

She and other conservationists and advocates for biodiversity want you to let the fallen leaves be. Why? Per the National Audubon Society, an organization dedicated to protecting birds and their habitats, some 8 million tons of fallen leaves end up in landfills.

That's not good news for the environment. But what's more is that you're basically wasting free tree gold that's great for plants, bugs, and animals.

Leaving the leaves is good for the soil and creepy crawlies

Leaving the leaves is good for the whole ecosystem.
Leaving the leaves is good for the whole ecosystem.  © Screenshot/TikTok/alexisnikole

Per Nikole, leaving the leaves is "going to make the soil richer and help suppress weeds." According to the Audubon Society, when leaves decompose, they are basically "free mulch and provides much needed nutrients to your trees and plants." But that's not all.

As Nikole points out, these layers of leaves are great for bugs and wildlife during the winter. Caterpillars and other pollinators like bees use them as hibernation huts, as do spiders, snails, worms, beetles, millipedes and more. These insects, in turn, feed bigger animals like chipmunks and turtles.

In other words, by simply skipping one fall chore, you're doing a lot for the environment.

But if your HOA insists, or you find brown leaves on your lawn unsightly, you can use a mower or muncher to make them smaller. This also makes decomposition a bit quicker. Another option is to rake the free fertilizer into your garden beds.

Cover photo: collage: screenshot/ Instagram blackforager

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