This is the 3rd blog on mulching. You might wonder why I am so obsessed with it.
Actually yes, I am.
I am amazed with the design of nature. Resources in nature are limited. Resources are used and re-used. And that’s why this system has gone on and on, for crores of years.
Processes in nature are cyclic. Output of one system serves as input to some other systems. There is no end. And hence there is no WASTE.
That’s what changed in urban landscapes. We designed linear processes. We create products, use them and discard them. Hence, there is WASTE at the end.
Now we have come to the stage, where our cities are drowned in this waste, we create every day. Since there is hardly any re-use, we go on creating more and more products, while eroding natural resources along the way.
How about we mimic nature’s design and re-use resources, reducing waste, preventing pollution?
Mulching is one of the ways to achieve this.
And it is almost free to implement with minimal efforts. That’s a bonus.
In previous blogs, we discussed what exactly is mulching, what happens in natural landscape and how we can implement the same in urban landscape to receive the same benefits.
If you joined late, here is the link to previous blogs on mulching. Visit them to understand what is mulching, how you can implement it in your garden and then join us here to know more options.
What if it is not possible for you?
Yes! You might be convinced that mulching is beneficial or since I am nagging you so much for last 3 weeks, that you decided it is easier to agree than to argue 😊
Whatever may be the reason, but yes, you decided to give it a try.
But then there is a challenge. Your society has so many trees, and so less soil surface, that it is virtually impossible to utilize all the dry leaves in mulching. A lot of surplus remains.
In our cities, majority of soil is covered with buildings, roads, footpaths, paver blocks. In society premises as well, demand for parking spaces has reduced available soil surfaces.
For many buildings and societies, a proportion of total quantity of dry leaves will go in mulching. What about the rest?
This is the 3rd option in Brown Leaf’s three-fold strategy of managing dry leaves in eco-friendly manner.
MULCH – COMPOST – DONATE
Let’s say you have adopted mulching and composting, and yet you have surplus leaves.
Then why not donate them to the people who want them for mulching and composting.
People who do gardening, need a lot of dry leaves for mulching and composting. And you know, even for them getting these leaves is a great challenge.
Can you see where I am going with this?
Yes!! It is the classic demand-supply equation.
There are people who have dry leaves (leaf-donors) and there are people who want dry leaves (leaf-takers). And guess what? Both are in the same city, every city.
I have dry leaves
I want dry leaves
Let’s connect the two, what say?
Where to find leaf-takers?
Leaf-takers exist all around us. Once you decide to donate dry leaves, you will spot them everywhere.
While jogging through your lane, you will see plants peeking from the terrace of a building next to you; some bungalow has a beautiful garden, but no large trees; somebody is meticulously maintaining a few planters in their balcony.
All of them are your potential leaf-takers.
You know, they might have been observing dry leaves in your premises and been envying you because you have such a great resource. They might be feeling shy about asking you to donate them.
Why not strike a conversation with them? Why not collect leaves in gunny bag, and offer it to them as a start?
Or you must be having a friend who has a garden. Everybody has such a friend. And they must be part of some gardening group. Ask him/her to spread this idea in the group. Offer your leaves on that group. A person can easily carry off 4-5 gunny bags in car-boot.
Believe me, they will be happy. It would be a permanent arrangement for both of you.
And it is a WIN-WIN situation, isn’t it? Everybody benefits.
- You utilize dry leaves for mulching/ composting
- You donate the surplus leaves
- Somebody utilizes your donated leaves for mulching and composting
- No leaves are burnt; we get to breath cleaner air
- Leaves are not dumped in the land-fill to rot
Do you remember the nature’s design we discussed earlier?
With donation system, we implement the same, only with some changes.
Now, all the dry leaves from your garden, will not go in the soil in your garden. They will go back to the soil in some leaf-taker’s garden.
BUT THEY WILL GO BACK TO THE SOIL.
They will not be burnt, adding poisonous gases to the air. They will not be dumped in the land-fill, rotting and emitting methane, polluting our water sources with leachates.
They will go back to the soil, nourishing it.
We have created cyclic system of nature in the city. We have eliminated WASTE.
This simple action today will provide a better future for our kids tomorrow.
Soon, we will change the mind-set that leaves are WASTE. Very soon.