When leaves start falling, it’s smart to clear them for several reasons. Not only will you keep your property looking tidy; you’ll also keep grass healthier, and take advantage of a great source of compost. But how you collect leaves makes a big difference in keeping your yard, ahem, “green”, so consider human-powered alternatives to gas-guzzling machines.
Gas-powered leaf blowers are powerful for moving leaves, but they’re also powerful for annoying your neighbors. Lawn mowers can mulch and collect leaves, but they’re overkill in cooler weather when grass growth has slowed. And the two-stroke engines that power these machines are stunningly inefficient – in fact, yearly emissions from lawn care equipment are comparable to every car in America driving around for a full week.
Related: Fiskars Gas-Free Momentum Lawnmower
Luckily, human-powered options are even more user-friendly than ever, so you can avoid polluting your neighborhood with exhaust and noise while getting some fresh air and exercise. Here are some essential tools for gas-free autumn lawn care.
Ames True Temper Greensweeper Rake
Ames True Temper Greensweeper Rake, $21.92.
Lawn Claws Leaf Scoops
For bagging leaves or getting into tight spots a rake won’t reach, a pair of leaf scoops is a must. Adjustable hand straps ensure a secure grip, and the solid panels don’t let small pieces fall through. Bonus: the scoops are also extremely handy for spreading mulch and compost any time of the year.
Lawn Claws Leaf Scoops, $9.98 (pair).
Toro 43-Gallon Spring Bucket
Leafmate Yard Waste Bag Funnel
If you bag your leaves and grass clippings for municipal composting, a funnel is essential. The Leafmate provides a larger “target” for filling a standard 30-gallon bag, and protects it from getting punctured. The heavy-duty fabric won’t absorb water like cheaper cardboard funnels, and the Leafmate collapses for storage.
Leafmate Yard Waste Bag Funnel, $24.99.
Bosmere Leaf Hauler Tarp
There are all sorts of carts and haulers on the market, but a basic tarp is still the easiest way to move a leaf pile to your compost heap or curb. We like the Bosmere’s corner handles and durable, UV-stabilized polyethylene material.
5′ x 5′ Bosmere Leaf Hauler Tarp, $13.02.
7′ x 7′ Bosmere Leaf Hauler Tarp, $14.73.