The fall season is the perfect opportunity to create some eco-friendly habits and positively impact the environment. It offers plenty of opportunities to adapt your lifestyle in ways that are more sustainable and mindful of the planet.
Here are 18 eco-conscious tips to help you turn over a new leaf this autumn.
- 1 1. Embrace Seasonal Produce
- 2 2. Compost Leaves and Garden Waste
- 3 3. Consider Energy-Efficient Home Preparations
- 4 4. Do Sustainable Outdoor Activities
- 5 5. Be Mindful of Your Wardrobe Transition
- 6 6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Decor
- 7 7. Rethink Transportation
- 8 8. Opt for Eco-Friendly Home Cleaning
- 9 9. Preserve Food
- 10 10. Host Eco-Friendly Gatherings
- 11 11. Carry a Reusable Cup
- 12 12. Try Plant-Based Recipes
- 13 13. Rethink Firewood Usage
- 14 14. Consider Rainwater Harvesting
- 15 15. Plan Holidays Consciously
- 16 16. Engage in DIY Projects and Repurposing
- 17 17. Support Local and Sustainable Brands
- 18 18. Spread Awareness and Encourage Others
- 19 Let Fall Be a Time of Positive Change
1. Embrace Seasonal Produce
Visit local farmers’ markets or farm stands to indulge in delicious, seasonal produce. Choosing in-season fruits and vegetables supports local farmers and reduces the carbon footprint of importing out-of-season ingredients. Add these fall items to your cart on your next shopping trip:
2. Compost Leaves and Garden Waste
Instead of bagging up and tossing fallen leaves and garden waste, consider starting a compost pile. These materials are fantastic for creating nutrient-rich soil you can garden with or donate to local community gardens.
3. Consider Energy-Efficient Home Preparations
As the weather cools, prepare your home for efficiency. Seal any drafts around windows and doors, and consider adding extra insulation. You can also switch to energy-efficient LED bulbs and lower the thermostat by a few degrees to conserve power and reduce heating costs. The better insulated your home, the less electricity you use, creating fewer carbon emissions.
4. Do Sustainable Outdoor Activities
Enjoy the crisp fall weather by engaging in eco-friendly outdoor activities. Go hiking, pick apples at local orchards, visit a pumpkin patch or go for bike rides to witness the beauty of nature during the fall.
Try some of these other activities to stay busy — and eco-friendly — this fall:
- Plant an herb garden
- Make fun fall drinks at home
- Participate in local park clean-ups
- Carve or decorate pumpkins, and use the insides for cooking or composting
5. Be Mindful of Your Wardrobe Transition
Transitioning your wardrobe for the fall can be an opportunity to look for sustainable fashion. Consider buying second-hand clothing, swapping with friends, thrifting or investing in quality, durable pieces that will last for years, reducing the negative environmental impact.
6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Decor
Decorating for fall doesn’t have to mean buying new items each year. Get creative by upcycling old items or using natural elements like pine cones, acorns, and gourds to decorate your home. When the season ends, store decorations for reuse the following year.
7. Rethink Transportation
When the weather allows it, why not take a stroll or bike ride to get where you need to go? On colder, wetter days, carpool or use public transport to reduce your reliance on individual car trips. Doing this cuts emissions, and provides an opportunity to enjoy fresh air and the beautiful autumn scenery.
8. Opt for Eco-Friendly Home Cleaning
Stock up on some eco-friendly, natural cleaning products that are gentle on the environment. Alternatively, you can make your own with simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils.
9. Preserve Food
With fall comes an abundance of fresh produce. Consider preserving fruits and vegetables through canning, freezing, or drying. This process reduces waste and allows you to enjoy seasonal flavors throughout the year.
Have fun pickling foods like onions, carrots, celery, cauliflower or parsnips. Make jams from your favorite fall fruits like figs, grapes, persimmon or apples, or dry foods like peaches, bananas and cantaloupe for a tasty snack. Spending time in the kitchen can be an enjoyable fall activity and it cuts down on food waste.
10. Host Eco-Friendly Gatherings
If you’re planning fall gatherings or parties, opt for reusable dishes, cutlery and cloth napkins. Choose local and organic foods, and include plant-based options to minimize the event’s environmental impact. Use reusable pans for cooking rather than single-use trays.
11. Carry a Reusable Cup
Over 6.5 million trees are cut down yearly to produce 16 billion paper cups for some of your favorite to-go drinks. With the crisp air comes the arrival of comforting seasonal beverages like pumpkin-spiced lattes, hot apple ciders and spiced teas. When picking up your favorite fall drinks, carry a reusable cup with you.
Whether you choose a travel mug or a portable thermos, a reusable cup significantly reduces unnecessary waste. Additionally, many coffee shops and cafes offer discounts to customers who bring their own cups, encouraging eco-friendly habits.
12. Try Plant-Based Recipes
The cooler autumn days provide an excellent opportunity to explore and experiment with hearty, plant-based meals. Add more veggies, legumes and grains to your recipes, or implement meat-free Mondays.
Approximately one-third of all land on Earth is used for livestock farming — one of the main contributors to harmful emissions. Testing out new meat-free meals gives you a great chance to get creative in the kitchen and benefit from the nutritional value of seasonal ingredients. Reducing the consumption of animal products can have a positive environmental impact.
13. Rethink Firewood Usage
Smoke from wood fireplaces contains carbon dioxide and methane — two gases contributing to climate change. If you plan on using a fireplace, choose sustainably sourced firewood, or explore alternative heating options like electric- or gas-powered fireplaces that produce fewer emissions.
Another option with possible rebate programs is a pellet fuel fireplace. Pellets are small pieces of compressed organic material that have the convenience of a gas fireplace but with better carbon-neutral fuel, making them a much more sustainable choice.
14. Consider Rainwater Harvesting
Install a rain barrel to collect water forr plants during the dry fall months, reducing your reliance on tap water. Rainwater harvesting may seem like a small, insignificant task, but the average household roof can collect approximately 500 gallons of water from just half an inch of rain.
15. Plan Holidays Consciously
Start planning for the upcoming holiday season with a focus on sustainability. Consider eco-friendly gifts and recycled wrapping paper, and reducing excessive decorations to minimize waste.
16. Engage in DIY Projects and Repurposing
Get involved in some DIY crafts using natural materials. You can create potpourri from dried flowers and herbs, make candles from scratch, or form bird feeders from recycled materials to support local wildlife.
17. Support Local and Sustainable Brands
When making purchases, choose products from companies that prioritize sustainability. Look for eco-friendly certifications, ethical sourcing and reduced packaging in what you buy. Support brands that do their best to combat climate change and bring a reusable bag with you when going shopping.
18. Spread Awareness and Encourage Others
Share your eco-friendly fall hacks with friends, family, colleagues and social circles. Small changes collectively make a big impact, so inspire and encourage others to embrace sustainable habits this fall.
Let Fall Be a Time of Positive Change
The fall season presents a fantastic opportunity to reflect on your environmental impact and adopt more eco-conscious habits. As the world starts to grow colder, let the falling leaves remind you there’s always time to change.
By incorporating these small but powerful adjustments into your routines, you can contribute to a healthier planet and inspire others to join the journey toward sustainability.