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With the chill finally settling in this autumn, many U.S. homes are updating their routine for the new season. Lawn-mowing is being replaced with leaf-raking, and backyard barbecues have moved indoors for family dinners on school nights and even Halloween parties.
Though we may not be getting outside as much, it is still important to remember that protecting the natural environment is a year-round task. Here are a few ways to update your autumn yard work, housework, and day-to-day activities to stay clean and green as the seasons change.
- Rake Responsibly
Though falling leaves are perfectly natural and don’t really harm your yard, many people dislike the messy appearance of a yard strewn with brown and dead leaves. If you decide to clean up the leaves, put them to good use! Leaves can be used to mulch flowerbeds over the winter for extra warmth and nutrients as they decompose. You can also compost leaves. Just don’t wrap leaves in plastic trash bags and send them to the dump! Every hour, Americans use around 2.5 million plastic bottles alone. Try to keep even more plastics out of landfills by finding alternative uses for fallen leaves.
- Re-think Candles
If fireworks are the summertime chemical-lighting culprit, candles are the autumnal criminals. Though you may want to get your spice on with a cinnamon or apple-pie scent, that cozy glow is filling your home with potentially harmful chemicals like benzene and toluene. Candles are also made with paraffin wax, which is a refined petroleum product that wastes oil reserves. Instead, burn beeswax candles or choose an essential oil diffuser for an earth-friendly fall glow and scent.
- Clean without Chemicals
Many people are believers in spring cleaning, but others opt for fall as a time to purge and sanitize. As flu season approaches, it can be tempting to spray down every single surface that we touch. Try to purchase earth-friendly cleaning products that are nontoxic and biodegradable . You can even try making your own cleaning products from substances like apple cider vinegar.
- Commute Kindly
Finally, autumn often means returning to school, college, and work. Try to reduce the number of vehicles polluting the air by carpooling. In the winter and fall, carpooling can even help prevent accidents in bad weather by simply keeping more vehicles off dangerous roads.
Protect your region’s natural environment, and the planet in general, this equinox season. Practicing sustainability and limiting pollution can keep each season beautiful for generations to come