Tips for a Sustainable Autumn
Autumn is one of the most colorful times of the year. It's only rivaled by the pastels of Spring, or the slivery whites of Winter, and there are the bright blues, and greens of Summer. Alright, all the seasons are full of brillant colors, and bring joys of their own. At Naty we find inspiration in the seasons and try to use them as a reminder to make changes in our lives to be more ecological.
We’ve rounded up some tips from around the office on changes you can make for a more sustainable Fall!
1. Go Outside
Yes, we know, it’s colder out, and it seems cozier to sit at home curled up with blankets, tea, and a good book (wait, we’re not making a very good argument here). However, taking the time to move around daily and get fresh air will help you during these cooler months. Not only will it keep you warmer since you’re getting your blood flowing, but also the fresh air keeps your mind sharp!
Staying on that train of thought, opening your windows regularly is important too! It lets stale air out, fresh air in, and surprisingly haids in keeping you healthy! Indoor air pollution builds up quickly, and can have adverse health effects; it also causes that stale smell in your home. Opening your windows once a day can help keep your mood up and home smelling fresh.

2. Buy Local and Seasonal
What’s great about Fall is that it’s root and squash season, which means you can make lots of delicious sheet pan meals or hearty soups. Another wonderful thing are the farmer markets, making it one of the best times to get food right from your local area. When buying regional produce you help the farmers and economy around you, as well as cut down on waste. Farmers tend to not wrap everything in plastic, and the food doesn’t have to travel as far, meaning you've aided in cutting down on carbon emission. If you’re trying to find your closest farmers market, check your city's chamber of commerce or find an app that serves your area.
Buying your food seasonally is another way to be more sustainable. When you purchase food that is growing and ripe during its natural season, it is more nutritious, and doesn’t have to be flown in from a faraway land (which makes it more expensive too). Overall it cuts down on use of fossil fuels and is healthier for you.

3. Cook at Home
Not all of us are great cooks, but if we’re always eating out how will any of us get better? There is a certain charm with a home cooked meal, and on top of that it’s better for the Earth! When you cook at home you not only save money, but also reduce your carbon footprint. Cooking at home gives you the opportunity to choose where your food is sourced from, and what goes in it. If you can purchase the ingredients for your meals from a local farmer’s market, like we suggested above, then you help reducing the transportation needed to get food to your plate.

4. Bring Lunch
This idea ties with the above two suggestions. When you start sourcing your ingredients locally and cook more at home, it’s not a big step to start packing your lunch. Leftovers are a wonderful lunch for the next day, help cut down on food waste, and trash. Often fast food, fast causal restaurants, or “to go” meals from grocery stores, serve the food in single-use, unrecyclable packaging, which ends up in landfills, waterways, and damages local ecosystems. By taking your lunch to work you’ll cut down your waste and save money.

5. Start a Compost
Autumn is a wonderful time to start a compost pile if you haven’t already. We have a compost at the office, and it’s great for leftovers after lunch, skins from fruits, and all the used ground coffee. In addition to food scraps, there are plenty of leaves, and old fall decorations such as pumpkins and corn stalks, which are excellent for starting a compost pile. There are a multitude of great sources on how to start a compost system and you can find some suggestions below.

6. Think Long-term
This is generally a good idea when purchasing anything, but especially in the world of fast fashion and trends. This Fall when buying new clothes, purchase pieces which transcend seasons and are “timeless”. Your clothing should last for years. Alternatively, you can always find a wide array of clothing at secondhand shops, which can be good quality.
The material of your clothing is important in making sure it lasts a long time. Silk, cotton, linen, wool, and cashmere, (organic only) are durable long wearing textiles, which can last for decades when properly taken care of. Materials like polyester, nylon, and spandex, are synthetic, and every time they’re washed release thousands of microfibers that then pollution our waterways. Natural fibers are better for your skin and the environment.

7.DIY Decorations
Holiday seasons always present fun opportunities to decorate and create cute gifts for friends and families. This year instead of purchasing new decorations or gifts, try and find a way to make them yourself. Same idea for Halloween trick or treating! Thinking creatively and make your costume out of items you already have. Moreover, instead of giving out store bought candy (wrapped in plastic) try something more sustainable. If you need inspiration Pinterest is a great place. to find some fun (and crazy) ideas.

8. Unplug
Unplug, literally. There are a myriad of articles discussing how “unplugging” from electronic devices is better for your health, and less screen time will better your mental state. However, we often forget to physically unplug the devices. When a plug is left in the device still draws power, even if the device isn’t on the charger. This is often referred to as “vampire power” or standby power, and not only runs up your electricity bill, but also wastes energy. Simply by unplugging your chargers and all other electronics when not in use you can cut your energy consumption and energy bill by quite a bit.

We hope these tips are able to help you make some adjustments to transition into a more sustainable life (not just for Autumn). It’s about being sensible for what works well in your life, and focusing on conservation. Every small step forward helps, especially if we all do it.
From us here at Naty we all wish you a Happy Autumn!

Last Updated: 2018.10.11

[1] Tara, 2015. “Green Actions You Can Take This Autumn” Biofriendly Planet. [Online] Available at: [LINK]
[2] Tara, 2015. “Fall back into Greener Habits” Biofriendly Planet. [Online] Available at: [LINK]
[3] Hancock, 2018. “5 Eco-Friendly Home Maintenance Tips for Fall” Mother Earth Living. [Online] Available at: [LINK]
[4] Tomasino, 2018. “Eco-Friendly Autumn Action” Green Home. [Online] Available at: [LINK]
[5] Silven, 2010. ” The Importance of Composting: Help Eliminate Organic Waste, Fertilize Soil” Earth Times. [Online] Available at: [LINK]
[6] Newground UK, 2015. “Why Seasonal Food is Better for You and the Planet” Newground UK. [Online] Available at: [LINK]
[7] Fruits and Veggies Matter, 2018. “What’s In Season? Fall” [Online] Available at: [LINK]