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You do your best to engage in green household practices throughout the year. Fall, however, has its own set of green guidelines to boost your eco-consciousness and sustainability efforts. Fall is harvest season, and it leads into holiday season. As the days grow shorter and colder, you get busier trying to juggle holiday parties, fallen leaves in your yard, and a furnace that hasn’t had maintenance in six months. Make good shopping, raking, and HVAC choices to go green this fall.
Rake your leaves, don’t blow them, to save electricity. Once you’ve made piles — and let your kids destroy them by playing in them — dump those leaves into your compost instead of throwing them away. If you don’t have a compost bin, spread them across your garden to protect perennial roots and enrich the soil as they decompose. Do your part to reduce waste so that those bags of leaves don’t end up rotting in a landfill.
Seal Drafts Before Winter
Do a DIY home energy audit or call a professional HVAC technician so that you can discover the biggest gaps in your home’s envelope.
Before the cold months settle in, you want to close up those cracks in windows and doors. Sometimes even plumbing and electrical outlets cause heat loss. When winter arrives, you won’t have to run your furnace as much to keep your home warm since the heat will be unable to escape outside. You’ll save on your energy bills, and sealing your home reduces stress on your HVAC system and your energy bill.
Make Exhaustive Holiday Food Lists
Fall is the time for Halloween parties, Thanksgiving dinners, and festive holiday occasions.
Many people get home from the store after a big trip only to realize they forgot a half dozen items and need to go back. These return trips waste gas and your time, so start making your party lists days before you need to visit the store. As items occur to you, write them down. Record them in your phone or email them to yourself so that you can update the master list later. That way, you make only one trip per party.
Become a Farmers Market Patron
Fall is the best time to get local produce because so many delicious fruits and vegetables are in season. Do as much of your weekly shopping as you can at your local farmers market. When you buy produce from local farms, you’re not putting money into the vast transportation system that uses gas and energy to get food to supermarket locations across the country. Your local farmers will also tell you what type of pesticides they use so that you know that you’re getting organic produce.
The ways you get to go green in fall are fun: Raking the leaves involves exercise and family time spent outdoors. Local produce tastes delicious, and you’ll get to connect with your community. As the Northern Hemisphere readies for hibernation, do your part for the earth so that another beautiful spring will come.