Here's an ecology-boosting idea that's sure to be popular with homeowners.
Forget bagging those grass clippings. Don't worry about a compost pile. University of Missouri extension specialists are advising people to just leave the clippings where they fall.
``Picking up lawn clippings is hard work, and it's a waste of time and money for you and the people who handle your trash,'' said John Whelan, an MU extension horticultural specialist in the St. Louis area.
Whelan estimates that from March to September, grass clippings increase the volume of residential solid waste by 20 to 35 percent. That's expensive for municipalities that pay trash collectors and have to build new landfills when the old ones fill up.
On top of that, Whelan says, raking, sweeping and bagging those clippings isn't even that great for your lawn. And he's going to prove it with a program called "Don't Bag It," involving 30 demonstration lawns in the St. Louis area.
With proper fertilization and mowing, he says, residents can have beautiful lawns without bagging the clippings. The cut grass decomposes quickly, he says, and won't interfere with other landscaping plans.
Most measures to help the environment call for some additional effort. Smash the aluminum cans. Bundle the newspapers. Separate the clear glass from the colored glass. How refreshing to have an ecology-boosting measure that says "don't do anything."
This is an ecological edict that's bound to find some converts.