Published Sep 21. 2015
Fall is nearly here, but colder weather doesn’t have to mean sitting inside. And just because there’s less green to be seen through your window certainly doesn’t mean that you should stop thinking green for every season. So as fall approaches, keep these tips in mind for an eco-friendly fall inside and outside.
Indoors: Keep Cozy Without Turning up the Heat
- Set your thermostat at 68 degrees. A lower setting will save energy and money.
- Check that your windows aren’t leaking heat so you can get them fixed before the real cold sets in.
- Consider switching to blackout curtains that reduce the flow of energy through your windows.
- Wear layers to keep warm. Layers are an easy way to adjust your own comfort without adjusting the thermostat.
- Rotate your bedding. Use thicker, warmer sheets for fall and winter, and lay out an extra blanket at the foot of each bed.
- Pull out more blankets. A throw should be handy in every room, with extras for where you love to sit and relax with a book or your favorite show.
- Use your slow cooker. For those fall and comfort foods like soups, stews, casseroles, roasts, even lasagna, try a slow-cooker version instead of using the oven. Even though a slow cooker stays on longer (4-6 hours or more), it will still use less energy overall.
Outdoors: Go Forth and Enjoy
- Eat seasonal produce, 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.
- Plant bulbs for next year’s garden. There are a wide variety of bulbs you can plant in the fall that give you beautiful, colorful reasons to look forward to spring. Iris, tulips, daffodils, snowdrops, and bluebells are just a few beauties you can have working their magic under the soil all winter long.
- Go hiking. 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. 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.
- Go camping. Fall beauty isn’t just for walking or hiking. It’s perfect weather for camping, too, and there may be fewer mosquitos around to dampen the experience.
- Find a fall festival near you.
Dozens of cities and communities have outdoor festivals for fall. Check online for locations, dates, and activities, and visit your local library—they’re a great resources for finding out about community events.