We're always looking for specific ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and welcoming the fall season presents more opportunities to save electricity and go green! Reusing old decorations and keeping up with regular home maintenance is a great place to start.
Here are some of our favorite ideas!
Reuse Old Pumpkins
Before you bring out your Christmas or winter decorations, get full use out of your pumpkins! Dispose of any old squash by placing it in your compost (or yard waste bin). Be sure to cut the pumpkins into small pieces to speed up the composting process. Unless you want the potential of growing more pumpkins, we recommend removing the seeds. If your pumpkins make it to the end of the autumnal season without rotting, make pumpkin puree and bake lots of yummy treats!
For many of us, it is tempting to turn up the thermostat as soon as the temperature of our house dips below 70* F. However, energy conservation experts encourage homeowners to keep their home temperature no higher than 68 degrees. You may be surprised at how grabbing a sweatshirt or cozying up with a blanket instead of cranking up the heat can drastically save you money! Another idea is to invest in a programmable or smart thermostat. This way, during the night or the day, when no one is at your house, you can lower the temperature and ensure you are not keeping the house warm for no reason. Being wise about how and when to heat your home is a great way to cut costs and conserve energy!
While taking care of falling leaves can be an annoying chore, it is an excellent opportunity to use a plentiful organic resource. If your yard only collects a few leaves throughout the week, consider using a mulching mower to put the leaves to use by delivering helpful nutrients to your lawn. Many garden supply stores have these mulchers available to rent, and it is an easy way to get two chores done at once!
However, leaving too many leaves on your lawn, primarily whole, large ones can suffocate the grass, not allowing enough light to get to the roots. They can also take a while to decompose, providing the perfect home for unwanted insects or pests like slugs. If you have too many leaves, add them to your composting pile or mulch some for your garden beds. However, it is vital to do your part and ensure large amounts of leaves get cleaned up before winter. Wet, soggy piles of leaves can both clog drains and destroy your lawn.
Before winter hits, it is important to do regular cold-weather maintenance checks on your house. Ensure your windows and doors are sealed so that cold air doesn't seep through. If needed, caulk or use weather stripping to provide better insulation. The best way to save money on home heating bills is to make sure you are only heating the interior! Also, check your pipes for leaks. Even steady drips should be addressed, as plenty of water can be wasted without homeowners ever realizing it.
Another tell-tale sign of the welcome of autumn is more rain. Especially for the Pacific Northwest, the last quarter of the year means plenty of precipitation. Conserve water for now and next spring by purchasing a rain harvesting system. If you are not ready to commit to buying, there are plenty of DIY options so that you can try it out without too much financial commitment.
Check out our blog on collecting rainwater for more ideas and how to get started!
You now have a good starting point for incorporating green habits into your fall activities!
What are you doing to encourage sustainability around you?
We would love to hear it! Let us know below!