En­joy An Eco-Friendly Au­tumn

The Oakdale Leader - - LIVING -

Au­tumn ar­rives with cool breezes, awe-in­spir­ing fo­liage and the hint of hol­i­days on the hori­zon. Fall is a fa­vorite time of year for many peo­ple be­cause the crisp weather mo­ti­vates peo­ple of all ages to en­joy the great out­doors. In­di­vid­u­als con­scious of their car­bon foot­prints can use fall as a time to take in­ven­tory of their be­hav­iors and make changes where nec­es­sary. The fol­low­ing are some steps to take right now that fit per­fectly with the har­vest sea­son. Shop at a lo­cal farm stand. Take ad­van­tage of the many road­side stands that crop up this time of year where you can find bushels of ap­ples, pump­kins, gourds, and late­sum­mer veg­eta­bles. Af­ter a day of sight­see­ing, visit a farm stand for warm cider and freshly baked dough­nuts. Buy­ing lo­cal pro­duce re­duces re­liance on for­eign-shipped foods and other prod­ucts, while also cut­ting back on the fuel con­sumed to get foods from the farm to the ta­ble. Bake your own pie. Af­ter a fun-filled day pick­ing ap­ples at a nearby or­chard, head home and use those lo­cally sourced ap­ples to whip up a de­li­cious pie.

Re­cy­cle old clothes to dress your scare­crow. Cloth­ing that is not wor­thy of do­na­tion can be trans­formed into a fes­tive scare­crow just in time for Hal­loween hi­jinks. Fill out the body of the scare­crow with news­pa­per and then add some pieces of straw around the neck, hands and feet. Use na­ture to dec­o­rate. Skip plas­tic, masspro­duced dec­o­ra­tions and rely on na­ture to dress up your home. Fill vases with leaves and berries. Place small pump­kins on man­tles, and en­rich the land­scape of your home with vi­brantly hued mums and other cool-weather plants. Corn husks and stalks can add har­vest flair to front porches. Twigs nes­tled and tied to­gether can make in­ter­est­ing ta­ble cen­ter­pieces. Cre­ate a com­post­ing pile. Out­door chores are eas­ier in cool weather than they are when the mer­cury rises. Set aside a place in the yard for com­post­ing. A healthy com­post pile should have roughly two-thirds car­bon (brown) materials and onethird ni­tro­gen (green) materials, ac­cord­ing to EarthEasy.com. Use those lawn clip­pings and raked leaves to make com­post for spring plant­ings. Visit a corn maze. Af­ter corn has been har­vested, farm own­ers of­ten use their land for sup­ple­men­tal in­come. Corn mazes can be sim­ple or com­plex de­pend­ing on vis­i­tors’ ages. En­gage in fam­ily bond­ing out­side and turn off elec­tron­ics in the process. Host a foot­ball party. Watch the game on tele­vi­sion or have a pickup game in the yard. Serve fin­ger foods to cut down on the need for plas­tic or pa­per plates and flat­ware. Pur­chase a keg of beer from a lo­cal brew­ery to elim­i­nate in­di­vid­ual beer cans and bot­tles. Set out a non­al­co­holic punch bowl so the kids can en­joy re­fresh­ments, too.

Au­tumn can be a great time of year to em­brace some ecofriendly prac­tices – such as pick­ing your own ap­ples and then bake a mouth-wa­ter­ing pie.

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