There’s a lot to love about the fall season. The food, the festivals, the change of weather. Being more environmentally conscious during autumn, however, may not cross the minds of most of us beyond putting our empty coffee cups in the recycling bin after the last sip of a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Making an eco-effort, though, can not only have a positive impact on your wallet but make for a healthier community and planet.
Regulate Energy Usage
The United States power grid is under considerable strain that has only increased over time.
While energy consumption in the U.S. is often highest during the peak summer months when people are blasting the air conditioning, there’s never a bad time to take steps to reduce home energy consumption.
The simplest thing is to turn down your thermostat when the temperature drops in the fall and winter. Doing so can actually reduce your energy bill by as much as 3% for every degree that you turn it down.
Now, nobody wants to spend November through February shivering under a blanket just to save a few bucks. So the best thing is to take steps to keep the cold out of your home altogether. This means things like sealing drafty windows or doors and opening the blinds during the day to let the sun in but then closing them when it gets dark to reduce heat loss.
Another way to reduce your energy consumption is to turn down the setting on your hot water tank. It’s recommended that water heaters be set at 120 degrees. This ensures everyone in the house can still get a hot shower, but there’s no danger of scalding water. With a 10-degree reduction in temperature, heating bills can be reduced by up to 5%.
Eco-friendly Yard Maintenance
If you haven’t gotten rid of that rotting jack-o-lantern from Halloween, now is the time to do so. Wait! Don’t just throw it in the garbage can. Pumpkins buried in landfills emit nasty methane gas. There are much better ways to recycle that old pumpkin, such as using it as compost for garden beds or checking with local zoos or wildlife sanctuaries to see if they accept pumpkins to feed the animals.
Now, what do we do about all those leaves in the yard? Raking them into a burn pile is a not-so-great idea, as this could easily lead to a wildfire. Raking leaves into a compost pile is a much better idea, and your yard and garden beds will thank you come spring.
As fun as raking leaves and tinkering with the water heater thermostat is, our favorite way to be eco-friendly in the autumn has to be dining out! Eating locally from sustainably sourced restaurants has several amazing benefits.
For starters, when you choose to eat at a locally-owned business, you’re directly supporting your neighbors as a greater portion of the money you spend goes back into the community. The pros of eating locally are two-fold, though, because when restaurants use produce or meat from local farmers, there’s less energy consumption used transporting those goods across the country.