The leaves in your yard might be transforming into fiery red, blazing orange and electric yellow, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a little room for green in your life this fall. As the weather changes, there are plenty of things you can do to make your life a little more green and reduce your carbon footprint.
1. Rake your leaves
As the leaves begin to fall, make sure you use an old fashion rake to clean up your yard. While a leaf blower may get the job done faster, it uses energy that can harm the environment. Once you’re done, reuse the leaves by transforming them into mulch for your plants or compost them to enrich your soil.
2. Turn down the thermostat
As the weather begins to chill, make sure you keep your thermostat at 68 degrees. At this temperature your heating system operates the most efficiently, so you can reduce the amount of energy used to warm your home and your carbon footprint. If 68 degrees is just not warm enough, try to throw on an extra sweater or snuggle up with your favorite blanket instead of turning the temperature up.
3. Bring your plants inside
If you haven’t done so already, bring any potted plants that can’t survive harsh weather indoors. Plants can help freshen up the air in your home.
4. Plant some bulbs
The best time to plant some bulbs in your garden is in the fall. Bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths should be planted in October or November, giving the flowers enough time to take root and bloom come springtime.
5. Visit a pick-your-own farm
Autumn is the time when many foods reach their peak freshness. Visit a pick-your-own farm for fresh produce such as apples, pumpkins and root vegetables. You may even find locations that let you pick fresh nuts such as pecans or walnuts.
6. Donate old clothes
The changing seasons provide a perfect opportunity for you to sort through your wardrobe. Before you break out your sweater collection and pack away your summer belongings, comb through your clothes to see if there’s anything you don’t actually wear. Donate unwanted clothes to a thrift store so these unused garments can have new life somewhere else.
7. Practice green cleaning
With holiday parties just around the corner, keeping your home spic and span might be fresh on your mind. But before you go to the store and stock up on chemical-laden cleaners, think about green cleaning options. Of course you can find eco-friendly cleaners in most retail stores, but the greenest option is to make your own cleaning supplies. With just a few ingredients, such as lemons, vinegar and baking soda, you can make a variety of cleaning supplies strong enough to clean the toughest messes in your home.