How to Have an Eco-Friendly Fall
Hello everyone! If you look out your window, you’ll know what time of year it is (although you likely would’ve known from the temperature anyways) - fall is now upon us! As we fall deeper into this wonderful season, why not make it an eco-friendly one? That’s right, today I’m coming to you with a list of 7 of my favorite fall activities that are not only super simple but super sustainable too! Keep reading to find out what they are.
Visit a local orchard.
I think that apple / pumpkin picking is by far the best fall activity to do, largely because it reminds me so much of the season! Going fruit picking is a great way to spend some time with your loved ones and enjoy some of the best apples and pumpkins. It’s oddly therapeutic in my opinion, and you can then use these fruits in a variety of ways, from incorporating them into some yummy fall foods to using them for decor! And, by buying these goods locally-grown, you’re reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have been created from their transportation to, say, a grocery store! (To learn more about the GHG emissions associated with transportation, check out my blog post about it.) If you do choose to go fruit picking, make sure you go to an orchard that prioritizes organic produce for the biggest environmental impact.
Visit your local farmer’s market.
This is similar to visiting a local orchard, but the perk of going to farmer’s markets is that even though they’re as much of a great experience to go to, these markets offer a much larger variety of fresh, high-quality produce and other goods. It’s an awesome way to make sure your fall meals are cooked with the most in-season ingredients! There’s something different about cooking with organic food - I think it tastes much better. And, there’s usually other fun activities to do at farmer’s markets, so you can have a blast while supporting local businesses and helping to mitigate global warming!
Go through your wardrobe.
With the cold fall weather comes the need for a complete wardrobe overhaul after the warm summer. This year, try going through all of your clothes (or at least as much as you can) - if you find clothes that don’t fit you or you simply don’t like, consider donating them instead of contributing to the global waste problem (for more information, check out my Waste 101 post). That way, you don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of clothing you have (and will also reach a sense of how much you actually need), you get to help out someone in need, and the environment is boosted too!
I know, each new year brings new trends, but it’s not necessary to keep up with every single trend you come across. That being said, try to stick to the sweaters / warm clothing you already own - there are so many ways to repurpose the same piece, from wearing it a different way to pairing it with a different piece! (If you’re looking for a Halloween costume, chances are you have the pieces of one lying around in your very house - get creative! Refer to my Halloween blog post for more eco-friendly ways to celebrate the holiday.)
If you find yourself in a shortage of warm clothing, try to invest in outerwear / sweaters that will last you a while. The investment may seem pricey in the short-term, but the guarantee of the clothes lasting for long greatly outweighs the price. I’ve had the same warm jacket for several years now - it works in both extreme cold and simply chilly weather! It only takes one great jacket to make your closet the best it’s ever been. If you’re looking for some cheaper options, try thrifting or buying second-hand!
Spend some time outside.
In my opinion, the greatest thing about the fall is the scenery outside (that’s the New England in me speaking). If you’re fortunate enough to be surrounded by beautiful fall colors like I am, take advantage of them! Take a nature hike at a local park, or ride a bike around with your friends! There are several eco-friendly ways you can appreciate nature this fall season. My personal favorite is having a picnic while watching the leaves fall. It’s such a sophisticated, yet simple, activity that everyone is guaranteed to enjoy. Whatever you do this season, make sure you’re enjoying the beautiful views nature has given us!
Have fun at home.
Unfortunately, not every fall day will be as amazing as our ideal one, so sometimes, it’s just better for the environment if you stay at home. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun while we’re at it! You can use your purchases from the orchards or farmers markets to whip up some tasty fall treats - cooking with others is always more fun in my opinion anyways! If you’re into Halloween, you can spend some time DIY-ing decorations for the spooky season - there’s no telling what you’ll be able to do! (I especially love curling up with a couple blankets during the cold nights. That way, I stay warm, but not at the expense of the energy bill!)
Compost / Repurpose your food waste.
One of the best things about the fall season is carving jack-o-lanterns and just overall, decorating with pumpkins, but that doesn’t mean we handle them in an unsustainable manner. Surprisingly enough, pumpkins are very often thrown out in large quantities, so when it’s time for the pumpkins to go away, try composting them instead! (Learn more about composting with my blog post about it.) Composting is an amazing way to reduce waste and benefit the many organisms that thrive in the environments around us. And, when composting pumpkins, you can ensure that they don’t release the potent GHG methane while decomposing. Don’t forget to compost other food scraps too!
When it comes to repurposing food, the possibilities are simply endless, especially for pumpkins, which have beautiful flesh and seeds. Both can be delicious when treated properly - baking and flavoring seeds from the pumpkins you’ve already bought is more eco-friendly and cost-effective than buying pre-packaged ones by a long shot. You can use just about every part of a good variety of fruits and vegetables in food - if you’re not into composting, try incorporating food scraps into stocks, broths, smoothies, soups, and so many more! There are so many great recipes utilizing fall ingredients out there.
Have fun outside with leaves.
This one is a bit outside of the box, but if you’ve got some free time, play with the leaves in your yard. No, seriously, I mean play with them. The classic fall activity of raking up a big pile of leaves and then jumping in them actually helps benefit the environment! By dispersing leaves across the soil, you can ensure that all parts of your lawn are enriched by the nutrients the leaves provide as they decompose. It’s fun and eco-friendly, what more could you ever want in life?
Jokes aside, that’s all for today! However you choose to spend your fall season, try to make it the most eco-friendly one you’ve ever spent! If you do choose to try out some of these tips, make sure to let me know and spread the word! After all, simply telling your friends about something cool you’ve done is likely to persuade them to do the same as well. This fall, let’s commit to benefiting the environment however we can. Until next time, everyone! Stay safe and healthy!