As the leaves make their yearly transition to reds and yellows, it’s important to still keep green on your mind. I find that it becomes harder to keep up with sustainable lifestyle habits as you enter the final few months of the year.
Come October, we’re met with a wide array of holidays. This means more travel, family time, and gift giving, which of course we love. However, when you’re focused on winning favorite aunt with your king-sized candy bars, or making five different versions of Thanksgiving potatoes, doing things sustainably can end up on the back burner (along with Aunt Ruth’s brussel sprouts).
So as you set your table with pumpkin spice candles and autumnal table clothes, don’t forget to set a seat for your planet-friendly habits too. To make it easier, here are some sustainable fall tips to help make your autumn a little greener.
9 Sustainable Fall Tips for A Planet-Friendly Autumn
1. Use up all of your pumpkin
You worked hard to pick that pumpkin, don’t let an ounce of it go to waste. Try roasting the seeds or making pumpkin gut bread (don’t worry, it’s more delicious than it sounds). To even further ensure you’re making the most out of your jack-o-lantern try composting it at the end of its life.
2. Look for eco-friendly candles
Fall isn’t complete without an autumnal scented candle. Unfortunately, most candles are made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum (aka fossil fuels). While there are conflicting reports regarding whether or not paraffin actually poses a threat to human health, avoiding fossil fuel-based products is always a win around here. For a more planet-friendly alternative, look for soy or beeswax candles and consider buying from small businesses or an Etsy shop instead of large retailers.
3. Make the most out of your apples
Apple picking may be one of my favorite fall activities, mostly because it leads to one of my favorite fall dishes—apple pie. Those peels and cores don’t have to be rendered useless though. Try making a comforting cup of apple peel tea, or use the cores to make your own apple cider vinegar.
4. Shop sustainable for fall fashion
If you’re in the market for a few new cozy sweaters try to buy them sustainably. Instead of turning to fast fashion sites, try shopping secondhand, swapping sweaters with friends, renting clothes, or shopping sustainable brands.
My favorite fall essentials to find secondhand: sweaters, skirts and loafers.
5. Bring your own mug
PSL season is upon us and so is disposable mug season. Save a little bit of waste from going to the landfill by bringing your own reusable mug to your local coffee shop, or even making your own fall-inspired drink at home.
6. Find a low waste Halloween costume
This is not based in scientific fact, but I think after bridesmaid dresses, halloween costumes are probably the least used items in our closets. Before buying one brand new, try to make your own with clothes you already have, find a costume secondhand, or swap costumes with friends.
7. Cook plant-based meals
8. Stay warm with a planet-friendly blanket
Planning to cozy up on the couch and watch a movie that’ll prevent you from sleeping for three days? Make sure to do so while snuggled under a planet-friendly blanket. Look for one like these that are sustainably and ethically made.
9. Give out eco-friendly Halloween treats
Opt for planet-friendly treats on Halloween night (and no that doesn’t mean you have to be that house that gives out clementines). Instead of candies wrapped in plastic, go for boxed goodies. Typically the boxes can be recycled, while the plastic wrapping cannot.
Another material to look for: foil. You can often find foil-wrapped chocolates. After being enjoyed, the wrappers can be combined with other aluminum foil scraps to make a ball before throwing in the recycling bin.
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