8 Fall Activities for Sustainable People
Crunchy leaves, chunky sweaters, and pumpkin-flavored things – is there anything better than fall? There’s something about the season that reminds us that change is beautiful. If you are looking for ways to keep the fall festivities more environmentally friendly, then this post is for you.
Here are eight sustainable activities to add to your 2021 fall bucket list:
1. Decorate with fall leaves
There’s no need to buy fall decor when you can make your own from nature herself. Bring the beautiful autumn colors indoors with some DIY projects. The warm tones of the season will add a dose of “coziness” to your home. Collecting items from your yard will also help you prep for winter!
Here are a few ways to decorate with leaves this fall:
1. Create a leaf banner for your mantel. Hang your collected leaves with clothes pins and weave a piece of twine through.
2. Fill a vase or bowl with leaves, pine cones and branches. This is a no-fuss, easy way to create a centrepiece for your living room or kitchen table.
3. Make a door wreath with waxed leaves and twigs. You can also add some second hand faux flowers and leaves to fill it up a bit.
4. Make leaf place cards. Use a white calligraphy marker to write guest names on the dried leaves. This is a fun way to add some elegance to your next party or gathering!
5. Make a fall candle holder. Simply glue some pretty leaves and twine around a glass vase or mason jar. Use them as candle holders for your table.
2. Go thrifting for fall fashion
We all know that fall fashion involves of a few staple items: chunky sweaters, oversized flannels, infinity scarves, and a great pair of booties. Buying second-hand clothing is a great way to avoid fast fashion and reduce waste. Your wallet and the planet will thank you!
Instead of shopping at the mall, check out a local thrift store to add some of these fall pieces to your wardrobe. You may spend some time digging through the racks, but the hunt is what makes it fun!
Love the thrill of getting a package delivered? Or maybe you are looking to purge some of last fall’s rotation? Check out shopping apps like Poshmark or ThredUP – they are huge online marketplaces for thrifters who are looking to sell or buy gently used items. If online shopping is more your thing, seek out environmentally-conscious companies to buy from.
3. Go out in nature
Immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the crisp air this fall season. Zero waste living promotes a strong connection to nature, and there are tons of ways to savour the great outdoors (before it gets too cold to do so!)
Here are four low-cost, low-stress outdoor activities to enjoy this fall:
1. Get lost in a corn maze! This traditional fall activity is a great way to challenge yourself mentally and physically as you search for the exit.
2. Enjoy a weekend camping trip before the nightly temperatures drop.
3. Go hiking with friends. Grab your boots and admire the fall foliage, all while getting your daily steps in.
4. Enjoy a fall picnic by the lake as you watch the birds begin their migration. Pack a blanket, a bottle of wine, and some snacks from the farmer’s market.
Check out our online shop for some helpful products to keep your outdoor adventures zero waste.
4. Visit a farmer’s market
Fall is a time of harvest! Skip the store-bought vegetables, and head to a local farmer’s market to stock up on fresh, in-season produce. Supporting local farmers is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, fresh produce tastes way better.
Here are a few ways to incorporate locally-grown food into your weekly meals:
1. Make apple or pumpkin pie from scratch (obviously!)
2. Make a mushroom soup with foraged mushrooms.
3. Blend a breakfast smoothie using organic fruits and vegetables.
4. Pan roast some fresh fall veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.
Fall is a great time to stock up and preserve produce for the winter. Stay organized with my zero waste meal planner.
5. Hand out eco friendly Halloween treats
One of the best ways to reduce your plastic waste this fall is by handing out eco-friendly Halloween treats to trick-or-treaters. If you want to find out what zero waste candies are available in Canada, check out this article I wrote. I actually went and did a bit of discovery work to find candies that do not come in plastic. Most Halloween candy is individually packaged, adding an incredible amount of unnecessary plastic waste. Millions of plastic wrappers end up getting thrown out or littered on the streets every year.
Here are three ways to partake Halloween treat-giving in a more conscious way:
1. Pass out fruit. Try decorating oranges to look like jack-o-lanterns.
2. Bake homemade treats. You may not want to pass these out to strangers – but homemade baking is a great option for Halloween parties.
3. Make treat bags. Fill a recyclable bag with candies or popcorn from the bulk food section.
With a little thought and creativity, it’s possible to celebrate Halloween without contributing to the world’s massive waste problem.
6. Build a homemade scarecrow
Looking for a fun fall activity to do with the kids? Build a homemade scarecrow using recycled goods!
Here are some simple steps to build your own:
5. Get a pair of overalls and flannel shirt from the thrift store (or your own closet!)
6. Stuff the clothing with hay or other filler
7. Carve a pumpkin for its head
8. Add some hay to the top of the pumpkin to give your scarecrow a fresh hairstyle
9. Add a farmer’s hat (this will keep the hair in place!)
10. Place your scarecrow in an old chair (or lawn chair) on your front step
This is a fun and easy craft that will encourage the kids to use their creativity!
7. Compost your leaves
Composting is not just for veggies or paper goods – reduce the amount of yard waste by feeding your compost bin with leaves. This is a fantastic way to add nutrients and create rich garden soil.
Here are a few composting tips to help you get started:
1. Time to clean up! Rake up the leaves to form a pile.
2. If you can, shred the leaves before composting – this will speed up the decomposition.
3. Add your mix-ins to the compost pile. Coffee grounds and food scraps make great additions.
4. Turn your pile a few times a week to help produce oxygen and distribute moisture levels.
5. Let your compost do its thing over the winter – and be amazed come spring!
Don’t forget to unleash your inner-child and jump in them first.
8. Host a pumpkin carving contest
A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, right? Tis the season for pumpkin carving!
Now that you’ve bought your thrifted sweater, decorated your home, and filled your fridge with organic treats, why not host a pumpkin carving contest with friends? This long-standing tradition is a sure way to bring joy and laughter this fall. You can also keep the pumpkin seeds and toast them for a delicious snack.
Don’t forget - any leftover pumpkin can be composted!
I hope this list inspires you to incorporate some sustainable activities into your routine this fall. What are you most excited about this time of year? Leave a comment down below!