I have fond memories of jumping into leaf piles when I was kid. Even the clean up was fun. My mom would pay me and whoever else I could recruit to rake and bag them (back then, the going rate was 50 cents per bag). Now instead of bagging the leaves, we mulch them into the ground.
According to a recent story on NPR, approximately 8 million tons of fallen leaves end up in the landfill every year. An easy alternative is to use a lawn mower to shred the leaves and spread them over your lawn. The leaves provide great nutrients for the soil, and it's free.
• The leaf layer you spread should be thin; your grass leaves still need to be exposed to sunlight, and you don't want to trap moisture
• The smaller you shred the leaves, the easier it is for them to blend into the lawn
• Don't mow when the the leaves are wet
• Take the remaining leaves and pile them around trees and shrubs (3-6" deep)
Read It: Want To Improve Your Lawn? Don't Bag Those Leaves at NPR
(Image: Flickr member thesullys licensed for use under Creative Commons)