Every year, the minute September hits, I begin dreaming about my perfect fall fantasy: mini pumpkins and gourds carefully lined up across my desk, the smell of cinnamon wafting through my house, bright orange and yellow leaves, warm apple cider, silly ghost stories and corn mazes. Of course, these dreams rarely come true. My fall months generally consist of studying for five hours a day and writing a ridiculous amount of essays. My high school APUSH teacher put it best: “October is the armpit of the school year.”
However, I am finding that I need to hold onto those little things more and more to get through the horror that is 2020. This year, I am determined to actually enjoy the fall season, and what’s more, give back to this beautiful Earth that graces us with her seasons every year! Kiss your Martha Stewart glitter pens goodbye. This fall, we’re creating our own sparkle.
While there are many eco-friendly ways to celebrate the fall, here’s a short list to get you started:
#1: An Autumn Stroll
Nothing says fall quite like a walk in the brisk air while wrapped in a warm, knit sweater. When you’re enjoying the nice breeze and fluttering leaves, be sure to pick up trash (wear gloves to be COVID-safe) and dispose of it appropriately. To keep a little piece of your walk with you, pick up fallen leaves or flowers you like along the way! You can press your finds at home by placing your flower or leaf between parchment paper, then placing it in a heavy book (such as a dictionary). Wait three to four weeks, and you’ll have the perfect fall token!
Fall brings with it pumpkin carvings and yummy gourd soups, but these activities can often produce a lot of food waste. To give back to your environment, consider starting a compost in your kitchen! Composting is actually quite simple. All you need to do is purchase a small compost bin and find your local composting site. Different things can be composted in different areas, so be sure to check your local city’s composting rules before starting. While the inside of your compost bin might look considerably scarier than even The Conjuring, your contribution will do a world of good!
#3: Natural Fall-Scented Clothing Fresheners
Want to bring fall with you every day? No problem! Simply repurpose an old sock as a clothing freshener. Cut the toe off an old sock, then fill it with your favorite fall spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc.). To finish, tie the top with a cute ribbon. Throw it into your clothing drawer, and you’ll smell like pumpkin pie all day.
#4: Festive Bird Feeder
To start, get a toilet paper roll and dip it in peanut butter. Then roll it in bird seed from your local store, or make your own bird seed (main ingredients include sunflower seeds, dried corn, shelled peanuts, and dried fruit). Hang the bird feeder on your tree, let it sit outside on your porch, and you’ll be good to go! Increase the spookiness by listening to Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” or watching The Birds while you make this sweet treat.
This fall season undoubtedly looks different for all of us. But with a little creativity, we can still have festive, safe fun. And of course, remember every season is a good time to be eco-friendly!