As the brilliant colors of early fall fade, many of us are preparing for the long winter ahead. In between dusting off our snow boots and digging out our favorite cozy sweaters, we can take some time to think about living sustainably in the cooler season.
With shorter daylight hours and lower temperatures, you may find yourself turning on more lights at home or taking long, hot baths. Of course, we all know that the same rules apply year-round when it comes to turning off lights and taking shorter showers to conserve water. Here are some other friendly green living reminders for fall.
Eat Seasonal Produce
Eat seasonal fruits, local if you can. Foods that are grown and harvested in their natural time frame require less energy to produce, and if you can get them from local sources, their travel footprint will be much smaller than produce that’s been hauled in from across the country or world.
Delicious and versatile fall foods include pears, sweet potatoes, quince, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, figs, squash, pumpkin, and, of course, apples. Apple-picking at a local farm is a fantastic way to enjoy the fall weather and support local growers.
Preserve Your Garden Goodies
Before the first frost hits your vegetable garden, preserve as much of your harvest as possible. In case you haven’t heard, canning is cool again, and for good reason. Canning provides you with fruits and vegetables during the months when they can’t be grown in your region, reducing your reliance on produce shipped in from distant warm-weather climates (which adds to your carbon footprint). If you’ve been growing herbs, The Spruce has some tips for drying and storing herbs for use throughout the colder months.
Check Your Tires
Cooler temperatures can lower tire pressure and under-inflated tires reduce your car’s fuel efficiency. It takes just a few minutes to inflate your tires to the proper pressure and it’s well worth the grimy fingers. And while you’re at it, check your car service records; is it time to rotate your tires yet? By regularly rotating your tires, you make sure your tires wear evenly. Regular rotation can extend your tire life and improve your gas mileage.
Clean and Test Your Furnace
Did you know that your furnace needs regular cleaning? Throughout the year, it collects lots of dust and debris, both of which can affect the furnace’s performance and could even cause a fire. Clean out or replace your furnace filter regularly and get your furnace serviced by a professional before the cold weather calls.
Swap your toothbrush
1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the U.S. That’s enough toothbrushes to stretch around the world 4 times. And 50 million toothbrushes are added to landfills every year in the U.S., but that’s not even the worst part.
Most plastic toothbrushes are made out of polypropylene plastic and nylon, both of which are non-renewable fossil fuels. So, with plastic toothbrushes, not only are we filling landfills but using up fossil fuels faster than necessary.
But, don’t look so sad, there is hope! Or, at least, there are bamboo toothbrushes. A simple eco-friendly swap you can make to lessen your toothbrush impact. Stronger and harder than wood, bamboo toothbrushes are reliable, mostly recyclable, and easily compostable. It is a dentist-approved mini vegan toothbrush. Isn’t it awesome? Get a wooden toothbrush with natural bristles now!
Bring in the Houseplants
If your houseplants spent the summer outside, don’t forget to bring them in before it gets too cold. If you don’t have any houseplants, maybe now is a good time to consider getting one or two. Not only do plants brighten up the interior of your home, but they will also help clean the air. Since most of us in cooler climates open the windows less frequently in the winter, houseplants can do a lot to improve your indoor air quality.
Do Some Yard Work
If you have a yard, spend some time getting it ready for the winter. Scoop up any fallen leaves and use them in the garden to protect plants throughout the winter — or add them to your compost pile. Fall is the time to plant spring bulbs and some perennials. And you can also plant many types of trees and shrubs in the fall, which will give them enough time to develop a deep root system over the winter months and reduce their water needs come spring.
Use Organic Beeswax Food Wraps
If you are still using single-use aluminum and plastic wraps, beeswax food wraps are the alternative. Zero-waste, reusable, antibacterial, compostable, and plastic-free. Beeswax food wrap can be reused for a year. Unlike plastic wraps that are currently littering our planet, they are 100% biodegradable, so when you’ve maxed them out, you can just toss them in your compost pile or garden. Secondly, you can also keep the food outside as its winters so it will keep it safe.
Beeswax wrap is made from Organic Beeswax, Jojoba oil, Cotton, and Tree Resin. All organic, biodegradable, and sustainable ingredients. These beeswax wraps are cotton that has been dipped in harvested bees’ wax. The jojoba oil and Pine resin smell fresh, rejuvenating, and amazing. Much more appealing than the industrial-chemical smell of a roll of plastic wrap.
It is BPA free, chemical-free, safe for your food, and your family. Try ecofworld’s organic beeswax food wraps now!
Use Sustainable Candles
We all love the coziness that candles provide during the cooler months, but did you know that most candles on the market are made from paraffin wax, a product of petroleum refining? A more environmentally friendly choice is candles made from beeswax — even better if you can find them at a local market or craft fair to avoid the carbon costs of shipping. Be sure to do your research before you stock up on products that make you feel cozy during the fall and winter.
Plan a Zero Waste Picnic
It’s not just for summer. Before it gets too cold to spend much time outdoors, enjoy the beauties of autumn leaves and cooler temperatures. Turn off the tv, leave the electronics indoors, and explore outside. You can even hike as well. Your favorite local spots to hike, like regional, state, and national parks, will have a whole new beauty in the fall—and less glaring sunlight, not to mention fewer people on the trails.
Red Solo cups, plastic cutlery, paper napkins, you know the drill. Thankfully, there are plenty of Zero Waste picnic ideas that are easy and fun for all your attendees! Encourage guests to bring their dishes from home, use cloth napkins, and make drinks that can be poured into reusable water bottles or glasses!
Create DIY gifts and decor
It’s not too early to be thinking about the holidays, and fall is the perfect time to make sustainable presents with gifts from nature herself. Concoct herb-infused cooking and massage oils, vinegar, and liquors, and be sure to dry any leftover herbs for fragrant satchels or to use in winter recipes. The vibrant hues of the season also make excellent decor for your home. Make fall wreaths with autumn foliage, or create festive tablescapes with homemade pumpkin, pinecone, or gourd centerpieces.