Greener Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall

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Cooler temperatures are making their appearance, and all the anticipation for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and those end-of-year holidays has begun. It’s fall!

Among the changing (and falling) leaves and the slow return to sweater weather, the shift from the heat of the summer presents new opportunities to set up some greener practices at home. These seven tips will help you “green-ify” your home this fall and take the environment-saving tone you may have instituted this summer into the cooler weather.

1. Ditch the oven

Fall weather invites all those hearty, warm meals like soups and stews into the menu rotation. What’s even better, many recipes now use a slow cooker or instant pot to make these meals. Not only do these wonderful kitchen gadgets let you set up your meal and forget it while it cooks, but you don’t have to turn on your stove or heat up the oven. This saves gas and electricity, and the results are still delicious.

2. Reroute your fans

The changing weather also means your fans should spin in the opposite direction to maximize the heat you’re pumping into your house. During the summer, fans should move in a counter-clockwise direction. This pushes air down so you feel a cool breeze. You switch it when summer is over so that the air moves upward. This helps circulate the warm air throughout a room without creating a cooling effect. 

If you don’t know how to reverse your ceiling fan, there are plenty of helpful videos and instructions out there.

3. Compost leaves

What would fall be without the beautiful foliage? The leaves turn bright and vivid with shades of orange, yellow, and red. But when the transformation is over, you’re left with a lot of dead leaves in your yard. Leaving them on the grass can deprive the soil of moisture and essential nutrients, but burning leaves releases particulates that can harm our lungs.

A better solution is to compost your fallen leaves. Because successfully composting requires a combination of materials, dead leaves actually turn out to be your best friend here. They help even out the materials in your compost bin and prevent decomposing food from smelling. 

4. Clean those gutters

Although most leaves will fall into your yard, not all make it down to the ground. Fall is a notorious season for clogging gutters with debris. Gutters provide a necessary function for your home, redirecting water to stave off mold, mildew, and general water damage. If the water can’t flow through the gutter, it’s going to pool over your roof, onto your deck, and in any number of places.

Since fall can also bring on some storms, and winter has its own share of precipitation, cleaning out your gutters ensures your house is moving water away from itself; potentially down into your flower beds and yard if your downspouts are angled correctly.

5. Make outdoor lighting efficient

Cooler months bring shorter days as far as sunshine goes, but it doesn’t mean you’re heading indoors at four o’clock. For those perfect weather days, you may want to keep the party going outside after the sun goes down, and outdoor lighting will be a must. To take a more energy-efficient approach to light your patios and decks, opt for LED or fluorescent bulbs. Both use less energy. You can even put your outdoor lights on a timer so you never have to worry about turning them off when you’re ready to go inside.

6. Check on your tires

It’s not just what’s in the home that may need adjusting for a greener fall, but what sits in your garage too. Your car gets impacted by changing weather, and colder temperatures can lower tire pressure. Under-inflated tires can make your car less fuel efficient, meaning you’re wasting energy every time you drive. 

If you’re noticing your fuel efficiency dropping, stop by the air pump at your local gas station. Your car’s manual should tell you the ideal PSI reading for your tires. You should also keep a tire gauge in the glove box just in case there’s not one attached to the air pump. If your tires are off, add air slowly so you don’t accidentally put in too much.

7. Fill up with gasoline that offsets carbon

With your tires filled to the perfect level, the next step at the gas station is to fuel up with gas that has a positive environmental impact. Not every gas station can say theirs does, but through the Twice Daily Thrive program, you can be certain of a positive result.

By fueling up at a Twice Daily station, Thrive offsets up to 30 percent of your vehicle’s emissions by investing in certified carbon reduction projects. Thrive also partners with local organizations in Tennessee to support additional environmental efforts. By fueling up at Twice Daily, you’re supporting environmental initiatives that make it easy for anyone to go a little greener every time they leave home.