There's Spring cleaning but what about Fall? Living in a college town, nothing feels more like the start of a new year than the beginning of a new academic calendar. So here are 14 green-do's for Fall!
- Bins of school supplies will be everywhere, tempting you to load up on new binders, papers and pens. Give in to those temptations but purchase some stylish green supplies like the eco-friendly Smencils and recycled binders from TheGreenOffice.com. You could also buy some extra supplies and donate them to a local school. The teachers and students will be grateful for your support and it's a way to say thanks to all the teachers that changed your lives.
- Reevaluate how you and your kids get to school and work. Live within walking distance? Start a walking group for the kids in the neighborhood - have alternating chaperon's so you can still get to work on time. Or consider biking. Just make sure you invest in a good lock (combo ones are great for kids who loose their keys).
- Turn off that AC. The nights are cooler now so open some windows while you sleep and let the cool air in. A whole house fan is a great and inexpensive way to speed this process up.
- Still haven't worn those fantastic madras Bermuda shorts? Before you start packing away your summer wardrobe, take inventory of what you actually wore, and donate the rest to your local Goodwill. Then treat yourself to a new "back to school outfit."
- Do the same with all those trashy summer novels, I mean, require reading list classics. Host a book swap party, donate to your local library, or send across the globe to a developing nation. Simplify your stacks!
- Rearrange your furniture. Maybe the sofa needs to snuggle up next to the fireplace for the upcoming cold spells, or maybe you're ready to host more folks for big family holidays. Take advantage of the move to clean up all those dust bunnies.
- Eat your pantry. Finish off the last of that quinoa/barley/orzo. Make a delicious final summer fling salad and then restock with hearty grains and root vegetables, all organized in their own recycled spaghetti jars!
- Rotate and inflate your tires. The roads will be icy before you know, be sure to be safe out there. As a bonus, properly inflated tires save on gas.
- Get your HVAC inspected. Make sure all your air filters are clean, your heater is working at its most efficient, and there is no dangerous fire hazards. Then pull out your favorite wool sweater and snuggle up to your somebody and see how long you can resist turning it on.
- Wash and then line-dry all your sheets and towels. Then in the dead dark of winter, your flannel sheets will smell just a little bit like sunshine.
- Get your "back to school" physical. Checking in with your doctor wasn't just for making sure you were eligible for the junior varsity squad. Routine visits help establish a relationship with your medical provider, allowing them to catch things early. Get your boosters, a flu shot, and a clean bill of heath to start the year right. And if you are so fortunate to be healthy, consider donating blood to those facing medical issues. The American Red Cross has lots of information and resources.
- For parents of high school juniors and seniors, college selection time is just around the corner. Check out TheDailyGreen's "10 Greenest Colleges in America". Consider carpooling with other families to tour colleges or find alternate routes of transportation.
- Visit your local farmers market while you still can. There's still a bounty of squash, pumpkins and tomatoes to be found so get them before the markets shut down for winter.
Got a favorite green tip for fall? Let us know!