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10 Eco Friendly Home Tips for Autumn

10 Eco Friendly Home Tips for Autumn

Autumn has just begun. Things here have cooled down just a little bit, perhaps most noticeable at night, not so much during the day. It’s time to think about what you need for cooler, perhaps even seriously cold weather, depending on where you live. Here are a few eco friendly home tips to get you going this autumn.

1. Heat your body, not your house.

When possible, focus on keeping your body warm, not the entire house. Wear warm clothes and use blankets to keep warm, rather than heat your house overmuch. This allows you to set your thermostat to a cooler temperature, and therefore use less power to heat your home. It also makes getting outside more comfortable, as you aren’t going from a significantly heated home to whatever temperature is outside.

Of course, in many places some heating of your home is necessary. Don’t freeze yourself or your family. Just think about what temperature range you can stand if you dress more warmly. A setting of 68 degrees on your thermostat is quite reasonable in many homes.

2. Maintain your furnace.

Just because you want to minimize its use doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain your furnace. Make sure it’s in good condition, with dust cleaned out so that it runs efficiently and safely. Check your filters too – they should be replaced regularly.

3. Take advantage of natural heating.

During much of fall, the sun’s rays are still strong enough that you can open your curtains or blinds on the sunny side of the house and bring in some warmth. On really cold days you may be better off blocking your windows, but if you can feel the sun’s warmth coming in, let it in.

4. Check your chimney.

If you have and use your chimney, get it checked now before the temptation to have a nice hot fire in the evening gets too strong. Debris in your chimney can catch fire if it’s not cleaned out.

5. Block drafts.

Those little places where a draft can sneak in can be very problematic on cold days. Repair or replace old weather stripping and find ways to block drafts coming in under doors. You can roll up a towel or small blanket to block drafts if necessary.

6. Check rain gutters on your house.

Rain gutters can get clogged up with all kinds of things through the year. Autumn is a great time to clean them out, especially if any of your trees tend to dump leaves in your rain gutters in the fall. Nicely functioning rain gutters are a big help in making the rain that falls onto your house go where you want it to.

7. Consider installing rain barrels.

While they aren’t allowed in all areas, rain barrels are a great way to catch and use some of the rain that falls on your home. Just make sure you have plans for if the rain barrel overflows, as it’s hard to have enough space to store all the water that falls during some storms.

8. Air out your home on warmer days.

When the weather is nice, remember to open the windows and air out your home. It’s a really eco friendly way to freshen indoor air and brighten your home for the day.

9. Enjoy indoor plants.

If you don’t already have indoor plants, get some. They add some nice color to your home during the cooler months and help clean the air inside your home. You can even grow some herbs indoors so you always have some fresh ones when you cook.

10. Clean out the clutter.

Cleaning out the clutter is good to do any time of year, so why not do it now? Take a look around and find all the stuff you don’t really need, and donate it to a good cause.

These are just a few ideas, and I’d love to hear what you and your family do to have a more eco friendly autumn. Please share your ideas in the comments.

Remember to Give to Charity

This is a great time of year to give to charity. Actually, any time is a great time, but this is the time of year many of us think about it. So do it.

It could be a gift to that relative who really doesn’t want anything more. If you know his or her favorite charity, make a donation in your relative’s name.

Take some time with your children and help out at a local charity. It’s a great way to show them that they can help out with a favorite cause. It may take some searching to find something age appropriate, depending on the age of your children. Many organizations have a minimum age limit for volunteers.

Then, for your own sake and to give to others, declutter your home and give the reusable items to charity. Help your children to do likewise.

It’s often hard to get kids to give up toys, even ones they no longer use, but it is possible. Here are some ways to go about it.

1. Talk about why you clean out the excess toys.

Many children these days have far more toys than they could possibly play with. Others have very few because their families can’t afford to give them much. Sending old toys to the thrift shop means that families with less money can afford to give their children something fun to play with.

That’s what works well on my kids most times. I don’t buy a lot of toys for them, but they get a lot of them as gifts.

2. Make two piles and have your child choose between them.

This works for getting rid of toys or just storing the excess away for a time. Be sure that you allow trades between the piles for particular favorites, and be very clear on what is happening to each pile. Try to keep trades even between the piles, so that the “stay” pile doesn’t keep growing.

3. Sort them out yourself.

I’m not too fond of this option personally – I like my kids to be involved in the decision. Sometimes it’s necessary when the piles of unused toys get too extreme and you aren’t getting any cooperation on getting rid of toys.

If you do this, be prepared for some anger when missing toys get noticed. Kids can come up with a reason why any toy, no matter how neglected, was important. It may help to discreetly store toys taken this way for a time before sending to your local thrift store. This allows for any serious mistakes to be corrected. Or you can be firm about the matter and point out how many other toys are still all over the house.

However you go about it, make sure your kids see you giving up things as well. Children shouldn’t feel as though they’re the only ones having to give things up for others.