Saturday, October 8, 2016

5 Eco-Friendly Ideas for the Fall

The temperatures have cooled off. The leaves have started to turn orange and yellow colors. The garden is slowing down a bit. The warm Summer months have ended and we have entered a season of rest. Summer months are usually filled with lots of outside time, family travel, and just more activities in general. When the weather become cooler, we stay inside, we warm up together under a blanket and watch a movie, and we rest during the Winter. Here are some of the eco-friendly ideas we are implementing this Fall.

1. Upgraded Water Filter System

I finally decided to upgrade our old Brita water pitcher filter to a more robust and purifying system like the Berkey water filter system. I also purchased the fluoride and arsenic filters to help us to have the most pure water we can have in our home. I have been wanting this water purifying system for a long time and am so excited to finally have it setup and in use.

I chose the Big Berkey size, which is perfect for our family of 3. This provides enough water for at least one day. I can tell a subtle taste difference in the water between the old Brita water pitcher filter and the Big Berkey water filter system. I'm glad our family finally made this investment in more pure water.

2. Canning More

I have been canning homemade apple butter for a few years. I've canned some other vegetables, like peppers, in the past, but really have not gone outside this comfort zone. This year, after my parents brought me 4.5 boxes of homegrown, organic apples from their back yard, I had to venture out to try new recipes. In addition to the apple butter, I canned sliced apples and apple jam. It was not as hard as I imagined it would be.

As the Summer growing season wraps up and there is an abundance of harvest, I want to try my hand at canning vegetables like tomatoes, green beans, and salsas.

3. Using Our Food Storage Supply

Being prepared for an emergency situation, whether natural or man made, is something that is very important to me. I feel like there have been so many natural disasters this year. It is good to be prepared for those. I try to keep a short term food supply in the deep freezer, regular freezer, pantry and downstairs in the laundry room. Our laundry room has a huge storage closet. I purchased a few heavyweight plastic bins with locking lids to store dry goods. The plastic bins help to protect them from any critters or bugs.

One of the things I have not been as good at is using our short term food storage supply. Therefore, this is on my list for soups, stews, and crockpot meals as I use the beans, grains, and frozen meat.

4. Thrifting

I have been so surprised at the amount of nice and high quality items that I have been able to find at thrift stores. Initially, I got into thrifting because I was not able to find an older style of jeans at one of the popular jeans stores, but I found them at a local Goodwill. I knew the exact style and size that fit me so well. I found that style at thrift stores. Since I started thrifting, I have bought lots of adorable decor items for the home, stuff for the kitchen, and wooden toys for my son. Don't be afraid of the thrift store!

5. Drive Less, Walk More

Even though our neighborhood does not have sidewalks and we do not live in an area that has a lot of shopping and restaurants close to us, we still try to walk as much as possible. There is a little shopping center about one mile away. When I need something from one of the stores there, I will take my 3.5 year old in our BOB jogging stroller and either run or walk there. We also try to combine trips to store that are close so we are not driving from one place to another. Taking a toddler in and out of a car seat multiple times is hard enough! My son is at the age now where he can walk quite a bit and I take advantage of that.

These are 5 eco-friendly ideas that we are implementing for the Fall. Some of them we were doing already, but want to kick it up a notch.

What are some eco-friendly things your family is doing this Fall??

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