How to Have an Environmentally Friendly Fall

The lazy, hazy days of summer have come to a close as the temperatures drop and days get shorter. The time has come to trade sundresses and shorts for sweaters and jeans. But while it's easy to get swept up in the season of apple picking and pumpkin carving, it is important to remember that our planet deserves just as much love in the autumn as she gets in the warmer seasons. Here are ten simple ways to make this fall your most environmentally friendly one yet! 

  1. 1. Turn down your thermostat

    It is easy to crank your thermostat up high to battle the cool temperatures outside, but by doing so you are using more electricity than necessary. Try turning your thermostat down and opting instead for fuzzy blankets. Both the planet and your wallet will thank you!  

  2. 2. Go through your clothes as you transition your closet 

    Trying to find a cute outfit for the annual trip to the pumpkin patch may drive you to your nearest Target or American Eagle in search of new clothes, but make sure that you start with what you already have. This is the perfect time to clean out your closet, donating what you don’t wear anymore and mending anything that is damaged instead of throwing it out.

  3. 3. Opt to walk or bike to class

    As the weather gets chillier, it becomes harder to drag yourself out of bed to make the trek to class, even more so if you live off campus. However, it is so much better for the environment (and for you) to avoid driving whenever you can. Plus, if you walk, you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful Muncie autumn. 

  4. 4. Check your tires

    For those of you who have cars, this one's for you. The cool temperatures of fall and winter can cause your tires to deflate much faster than they do in the summer. Underinflated tires are worse for the environment as they have less fuel efficiency and waste gas. Not only will checking your tires help protect our planet, but you will be doing your car a favor and saving money in the long run.

  5. 5. Buy local produce for your fall recipes

    Check out the Minnetrista farmers market every saturday for local produce for your fall soups and stews. It is great to support local businesses and buying local shortens the production cycle, which is better for the environment. 

  6. 6. Try a slow cooker for meals    

    Living off campus comes with its perks, but being off the meal plan can be daunting for some. Slow cookers use less energy than the stove since the food is cooked at a lower temperature for longer, and they are great for college students since all the ingredients go in one pot. This would be the perfect way to prepare a meal with your locally grown and purchased produce!  

  7. 7. Compost your leaves and yard waste

    Rather than burning your leaves or leaving them to soak the moisture out of your soil, composting them will improve your soil for spring. 

  8. 8. Reverse your ceiling fan for more efficient airflow 

    Many fans have a switch on them that allows you to reverse the direction that the blades spin and there is a specific rotation for colder and warmer months. You want your fan to run clockwise in the colder months, as this moves warm air trapped by the ceiling down and throughout the room, warming it. By doing so, you are then able to turn down your thermostat and help save electricity. 

  9. 9. Bring outside plants indoors 

    Not only will this help keep the plants alive, but having them inside will freshen up the room and keep it from feeling stuffy. 

  10. 10. Use self-powered tools for yard work  

    Raking leaves is a pain, but choosing to do it with a rake rather than a leaf blower is better for the environment, even if it does take a little longer. Plus, you’ll get to spend more time outside in the fresh air!