The autumn season is officially upon us! The scent of pumpkin spice is in the air and our favorite chunky sweaters are beginning to make their way back into our wardrobe rotation. While the shorter days and cooler nights can be a bit of a disappointment after the vibrant summer season, there’s still so much to look forward to in Fall.
Aside from the autumn holidays, there are many exciting activities that can be enjoyed with friends and family. This year, try out some of our favorite fall activities that are both fun and environmentally friendly. Here’s what we’re putting on our Sustainable Fall Bucket List for 2022!
As you begin swapping out your seasonal wardrobe, use this time as an opportunity to declutter. Any clothing that you no longer wear or need can be set aside for donation to your local charity, homeless shelter, or secondhand store.
It’s been estimated that approximately 92 million tons of textile waste is created annually, filling our landfills with clothing that could have been recycled, donated, or repurposed. So, feel great knowing that you’re not only helping a person in need by your donation, you’re also helping to save our planet!
Create Your Own Halloween Costume
Are you a Halloween-lover? If so, plan your costume out in advance this year and flex your creative skills by making your own get up out of clothing and materials you have laying around the house (or borrowed from a friend!)
Many times, commercially manufactured costume pieces are expensive, poor-quality, and mass produced unethically; a high price to pay for a one-time use. Take a peek at Pinterest, Instagram, or TikTok for DIY costume ideas.
Make the Most out of Your Pumpkins
According to The Guardian, 60% of consumers don’t use the flesh or seeds when they hollow out their pumpkins for carving. This contributes to about 63.1 million tons of food waste generated each year in the United States alone.
So to kick up your sustainability game this season, be conscious of what you’re doing with your pumpkins! You can save the fruit’s flesh for yummy recipes like soup, curries, pies, breads, or cakes and roast the seeds for a tasty snack.
When the season is over, compost the pumpkin rind instead of tossing it away. Depending on your area you could also reach out to local animal shelters, zoos, farms, or community gardens to see if they will take your old pumpkins off your hands; oftentimes they’ll be grateful for some natural compost material or snacks for the animals!
Support a Local Farm
Skip the grocery store produce this season and opt for buying local, in-season fruits and veggies. Reduced carbon footprint? Yes, please! Eating locally grown produce is not only healthier and more sustainable than consuming imported or lab-grown foods, it helps support small businesses and family farms.
Especially in the fall season, many local farms will also host events like corn mazes, hay rides, petting zoos, and more. Keep an eye out for announcements near you!
Craft Your own Fall Decor
Oftentimes, seasonal decor is targeted at impulse shoppers to “get in the holiday spirit,” but are often cheaply made, causing them to be tossed out at the end of the season - ultimately ending up in a landfill just to be replaced the next year with more decor.
In an effort to cut down on the amount of plastic (or nonrecyclable) decorations you purchase, consider decorating with a more natural approach! Have a bunch of pinecones in the backyard? Use them as centerpieces or layer them in a glass vase with some twinkle lights. Dried leaves and flowers can be turned into colorful wreaths or other decorative pieces. You could also use some twine and string together leaves to make a beautiful garland!
Plan a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Even though the temperatures are starting to dip, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors! Make a list of some beautiful things you may discover outside in your local area and see how many of those things you can find near your home, at a nature preserve, or wildlife management area. Some examples may include local wildflowers, mushrooms, insects, small critters, or specific colored leaves.
Interested in other ways to create a more eco-friendly household? Check out our blog that shares easy ways to achieve a more sustainable kitchen