Cooler weather and shorter days invoke a nesting response in all of us. While making your home cozy for winter, take some time to make your home more sustainable too! Here are some easy tips for keeping your home green, even as the leaves turn to brown.
- Preserve foods: gather the last of your goods from your garden, preserve them to minimize food waste, and enjoy homegrown treats throughout the winter.
- Maintain the car: winter takes a toll on your car and poorly maintained vehicles are more environmentally taxing. Take time to change your oil, tires, filters, and replace spark plugs to make your car more efficient.
- Clean and repair furnace and water heater: clean filters and air ducts to keep your home warm and your environmental impact minimal
- Prepare for water runoff: clean out and repair drains to avoid flooding and dirty runoff.
- Skip the yard chemicals: many insects use winter as a critical transplanting time. Stay away from chemicals during the growing offseason, and consider switching to natural remedies year-round.
- Work the compost: boost your compost pile with dead leaves and other yard clippings.
- Clean furniture and decks: cleaning and storing furniture properly will help them last longer through the wet season and cut down on landfill waste in the long run.
- Limit electricity: it’s tempting to overuse heat and lights during winter. Layer up before resorting to heat, and be conscious of energy use!
- Avoid plastic and decorate naturally: avoid plastic holiday decorations and single-use toys. Opt for natural decorations and wooden toys instead.
- Buy local: buying fruits out of season means hefty transportation costs and emissions. Opt for local winter delicacies instead.
- Take your own mug: nothing warms you up in winter like a hot beverage, but make sure to bring your reusable mug to reduce waste and keep your drink warm longer!
Simple maintenance and daily practice changes can make your home more environmentally friendly. Hopefully, these steps inspire you to make some sustainable changes this fall!