As decreasing temperatures indicate a shift in the seasons, now is a great time to re-evaluate your current sustainability measures. Believe it or not, there are specific ways you can practice seasonal sustainability each and every year. In order to avoid common environment-harming mistakes during the fall and winter months, utilize the tips below to hold yourself to a greener standard as the seasons change.
Do Your Yard Work
For most homeowners, the beginning of autumn also means the beginning of fallen foliage. While it’s easy to put off or simply refuse to do the hours of raking and bagging that your yard work might require, skipping this process can be harmful in the long run. Simply leaving your leaves to rot altogether can cause serious damage to your lawn, and can also result in the growth of fungus or mold. Additionally, make sure the leaves from your yard don’t end up in the street.
It’s not uncommon for unattended leaves to clog up storm drains, and even make their way into water systems, ultimately harming aquatic life. Take the time to manage your yard during the upcoming months by disposing of your leaves the proper way and composting them. Composting your outdoor waste is the most natural form of recycling and the most sustainable option as opposed to dumping or burning your leaves.
Skip Scented Candles
The colder months are known for being the best time to bring out your favorite scented candles. While at first glance it feels as though there’s nothing wrong with lighting a match to fill your home with your favorite holiday smells, there are environmental side effects you might be unaware of. Many scented candles are made with paraffin wax, a chemical that hurts both our planet and your lungs.
This means that candles could be harming the environment and your health simultaneously. In order to go the more sustainable route as the seasons change, check the label the next time you purchase a candle for your home or even as a gift. Candle wax made from soy is your best bet when it comes to keeping your air clean, and your house full of holiday scents.
Clean Out The Right Way
From packing away summer clothes to opening up holiday decorations, you might find yourself doing a lot of cleaning out as the seasons shift. As tempting as it might be to simply leave your unwanted summer items on the curb for your garbage trucks to dispose of, there are much more sustainable methods for you to clear out your season specific pieces. Whether you’re looking to revamp your wardrobe for fall or you want to find a new home for your old patio furniture, always consider donating first before sending items to the dump.
Clean out your closet with an online cleanout service that allows you to mail out your old clothes right from the comfort of your home. For larger items, you might be looking to get rid of, try your hand at Facebook Marketplace. The more items you re-sell or donate, the fewer objects there are to end up in landfills, allowing you to clean out your home the sustainable way as every new season approaches.
Make Conservation Part of Hibernation
As it becomes harder and harder to spend time outside, it’s important to conserve as we use up more energy indoors. To stay sustainable as you hibernate during the colder months, try turning down your thermostat temperature a few notches as well as lowering your water heater by a few degrees. Though it might be tempting to keep your house as warm as possible, lowering the heat even slightly can end up making a big impact. Take a week during the upcoming months to test out turning down your water heater as well.
Most individuals don’t take scalding hot showers, so you might find that the temperature your heater is currently set at is only costing you extra money each month. Using less energy at home in these ways will lessen your carbon footprint and keep help you maintain a sustainable lifestyle these upcoming months.
It’s no secret that the holidays are the perfect time to break out your favorite recipes to share with friends and family. From Halloween treats to signature Thanksgiving dishes, baking and cooking with loved ones is a beloved seasonal activity. A great way to go the eco-friendly route for your next get together is by buying your ingredients locally. Purchasing from nearby farmer’s markets ensures that less energy is being used to produce and transport the food you need to make your everyday meals. This will lessen your carbon footprint in the long run and will ensure that all of your dishes are made with the freshest of ingredients.