Fall is officially upon us, which we all know means that before we know it, winter will soon be shocking us all over again with just how powerfully cold it can be and what it does to our whole life and way of living. I have never quite figured out how it is that every year it seems colder than I remember, that I’m surprised anew when the fruit isn’t fresh, that suddenly I need a minimum of two sweaters to stay warm and that my heating bill suddenly thinks up is the only way to go!
Perhaps I’m not alone?
If that sounds anything like you and this year you’re determined to be a little more prepared for both fall and winter this year, I have at least one list to share with you. These are some of the top green items our family is hoping to track down this year to help us prepare better for the cooler temps this year.
1. Biodegradable Leaf Bags
We’ll be composting our leaves this year, but to prevent them from blowing away and undoing all our effort, we’re planning to store them in biodegradable leaf bags. These claim to hold together for up to 5 weeks, so we can bag the leaves and toss the bags and all right into the compost pile and cut the usual mess!
2. Green De-Icer
We’re in Montana, which means ice starts accumulating very early and sticks around well into spring. I had yet to discover a green de-icer until I discovered Terracycles’s Ice Melt Away. It claims 1/3 less chloride than normal de-icers, making it less corrosoive and safer for plants and pets and its guaranteed to be non-irritating to human skin. I’ve never really felt confident about putting out salt and risking danger to our puppies’ feet, so this is the best natural alternative we’ve found.
3. Solar Fruit Dryer
Because I can’t live without fruit and am not keen on buying the out-of-season options that come bearing ridiculously high carbon footprints, this year I will be dehydrating all of our favorite fruits for stockpiles to last us all winter long. Currently dreaming about the Food Pantrie hanging food dehydrator that requires zero electricity.
4. Switching Out the Light bulbs
It gets dark as early as 4:30 p.m. here, which means our lightbulbs are running for much longer periods of the day than normal. Switching out our standard lightbulbs to compact fluorescent lightbulbs over the next fall months will save our home money all year long.
5. Energy Efficient Room Heaters
We plan on using our home central heating system as little as possible this year and instead, running small portable space heaters. We’ll be running them just in the rooms we’re actually using at that moment, in the hope that we can drastically cut our energy used and in turn, our energy bill too. Favoriting this G73 garage heater for the main living/kitchen area.
Our family lives in sweaters from September through May. Literally. We had never jumped on the “organic clothing” bandwagon until I started studying the amount of pesticides and fertilizers used on the majority of cotton in the U.S., cotton that we wear for 9 months out of the year. (You should check out Good Human’s piece on What’s So Bad about Non-Organic Cotton.) We’ll definitely be stocking up on green sweaters this fall.
While this is certainly not all our family will be doing or purchasing in the effort to green up our fall and winter, we are hoping to get a head start and begin to look for deals for all of the above, starting now. What about you? What are you hoping to go greener with this fall and winter? Please add to my list!