Tips for a Green Fall
The days are getting cooler and shorter. You’ve got brightly colored leaves everywhere, and soon they’re going to be littering your lawn. Autumn has its own special green concerns, and here are some tips to help keep your fall green.
Don’t burn your leaves – When leaves are burned, the smoke contains particulates that can lodge in your lungs and the lungs of other people. The pollution that’s emitted by burning leaves can add to the green house effect, making our atmosphere warmer. Instead, bag your leaves and have them hauled away or use them as mulch or in your compost pile. Either one of these is much better than burning, and gives back to the environment instead of taking away.
Watch your energy use – As the days get shorter, you’re going to use more energy. You’ll turn on the lights earlier, and you’ll leave them on longer every day. Lighting your home is about 25% of your yearly energy consumption. Make sure you have compact fluorescent bulbs – they cost more, but they last longer and use less energy. Wipe down your bulbs to make sure they’re not dusty. Clean bulbs emit more light than dirty bulbs, so you won’t have to use as many to light your home. Also, did you know that if your walls are clean or freshly repainted they reflect more light, cutting down on your light usage?
Cut down on the energy used to heat your house by insulating – You can lose up to 40% of your heat if your home isn’t insulated properly. Cover your air-conditioning unit,and you’ll keep cold air from entering your home through the space around it. Get draft blockers that go under the doors. Make sure your windows seal tightly – use weatherstripping – and are caulked correctly. There are lots of little things you can do to keep your energy from being wasted, keeping down not only your utility bills but your energy use as a whole.
Plant your trees now - Because there’s usually more rainfall and cooler temperatures during the fall, it’s a good time to plant trees. They have a better chance of surviving now, so plant them now and make sure to choose species that are native to your area. Try for drought resistant strains that require less water.