Fall is officially here which means that the beautiful fall foliage will soon be on display. The oppressive heat of summer is behind us and the weather is finally turning a little more mild and comfortable. Fall is a season of change; the leaves change colors, a new school year starts, snow begins to fall and the holiday season approaches. It’s important, however, to maintain the environmentally-friendly habits that we’ve established in the spring and summer and remember to carry those with us into the fall and winter. Here are a few ideas to help you keep your home and yard environmentally-friendly this upcoming season.
In the Yard
One of the inevitabilities of autumn is that the leaves will fall and you will have to dust off your rake and get to work. Rather than bagging the fallen leaves and tossing them in the trash, consider composting them so that you’ll have nutrient-rich soil once temperatures warm up again. If you don’t have a compost bin for your yard, now would be the perfect time to purchase one or build your own. You’ll be grateful you did next spring.
Another way to keep your yard “green” in the fall is to plant some new trees. Most people tend to believe that spring is the best time to plant new trees, but fall can be a great time as well, especially since the ground is typically drier than in the spring. The heat of summer is gone which means new trees in your yard have a good chance of thriving. Before planting a new tree in the fall, however, make sure to check with your local nursery to ensure the tree you have purchased will be able to survive the winter.
Fertilizing your lawn in the fall can help ensure that it will be grow thick and green in the spring. When fertilizing your lawn this fall, make sure to choose an organic mixture. Organic fertilizers are environmentally-friendly can frequently provide better results than the synthetic mixtures. Some synthetic fertilizers have even been shown to cause various unwanted issues with lawn including increased fungi growth.
In the Home
As the temperatures begin to drop, people will begin using their furnaces for the first time in months. Unfortunately, your furnace may not be as sufficient as it could be which causes additional harm to the environment and can be heavy on your wallet. Dirt and dust are the enemies of a sufficient furnace so make sure to clean the blower, filter system and motor. The filter itself should be replaced prior using the furnace for the first time in the fall. There are a variety of eco-friendly furnace filters available that are sufficient and made from decomposable material. It is also possible to purchase washable furnace filters that never need to be replaced.
While the weather is still warm, take a little time to walk around the exterior of your house and check window frames and door frames for any cracks where warm air could leak out. Patch these up with caulk to help keep your furnace from working overtime. Also consider replacing the rubber weather strips around windows and the bottom of doors to keep your home warm and draft-free.
Fall and winter are the perfect seasons for spending more time with family and friends, especially with the various holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.). Rather than sending out paper invitation through the mail, be green and go digital with your invitations. This will help cut down on excessive waste and cost. When the guests arrive, consider serving plenty of organic and locally-grown foods. Try to use glassware at the tables instead of plastic or paper utensils and dishes. At the end of the get-together, make sure to recycle the appropriate waste and save the decorations for another party next year!
This post was written by Derek Dasher, a regular contributor for Your Local Security. He enjoys writing about a variety of home-related topics including home improvement and security on their blog In Good Measure .
Bedroom window: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vortech/2051522370/