Four Simple Ways to be Environmentally Friendly this Fall

We are in the midst of autumn, which means colorful leaves are falling off the trees and pumpkin spice lattes are brewing. Fall is a time where the flannel shirts come out and everyone layers up to prepare for a frigid winter. With everyone trying to stay warm during the fall and winter months, it is easy to become wasteful and unknowingly harm the environment.

From single-use coffee cups to cheap fast-fashion sweaters, fall can be a difficult time for planet Earth. Luckily, there are simple eco-friendly lifestyle changes you can make this season, starting right now!

Invest in a Reusable Cup or Mug

It is common for coffee shops to be crowded around this time of the year, with customers wanting lattes, teas, and hot cocoa. However, these shops can produce excess paper and plastic waste with serving single-use cups. One of the world's largest coffee chains, Starbucks, uses more than 8,000 paper cups a minute. Most of the cups end up in the trash, and since they are lined with plastic, they are non-biodegradable.

To combat the excess waste of single-use cups, it is best to invest in a reusable cup or mug. There are endless options of tumblers on the market that use eco-friendly materials and are insulated to keep your drink warm for hours.

There are several coffee chains that will fill up your reusable cup, and some will even give you a discount on your order (including Starbucks).

Incorporate Nature into Your Décor

Do you like to decorate your home during the fall to celebrate Thanksgiving? It is common to purchase plastic decorations to add a festive touch to your home, but those items will eventually end up sitting in a landfill. Instead, you should look into decorating your living space sustainably with natural items, such as real pumpkins, leaves, and even pinecones. You can create beautiful centerpieces and wreathes with items that are laying right outside your door.

Minimize Your Carbon Footprint

With the leaves changing color and the sweltering summer heat gone, autumn is the perfect time to get outside and bask in the beauty of nature. Go out and take in the fresh air by taking a bike ride or even going on a hike. In addition to exercising, you will be reducing your carbon footprint.

In recent years, there are more and more cars on the road, which contributes to global warming. From 2010 to 2018, SUVs were the second largest contributor to the increase in global carbon dioxide emissions. The dramatic shift toward SUVs has offset the efficiency improvements of electric and compact vehicles.

Become Sustainable with your Fashion

It isn't fall without a comfy sweater, a flannel shirt, and a warm scarf. When it comes to getting these items, look to your local secondhand or thrift store. You can find a unique vintage item while saving money compared to going to a chain fashion retailer. You will also contribute to the reuse of clothing instead of investing in the harmful fast fashion industry. If you're in the Rockville, MD area, check out the Planet Aid Thrift Store.

If you have fall clothes that you have not worn in years and are looking to get rid of, then consider donating them to Planet Aid. Our large yellow bins helped to successfully divert 90 million pounds of textiles from landfills in 2018.