I can’t believe summer is already coming to a close and pumpkin spice latte season is almost here again! I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready for cosy evenings and misty countryside walks. This year has been a difficult one for many of us, so I think we all deserve to have a slow-paced, stress-free autumn season. Don’t you?
The main focus over the past few months has been on keeping ourselves and our families healthy, which meant that the conversation around the environment took a backseat, which is okay. However, with the year slowing down a bit, I think the calm of autumn could provide us with the perfect opportunity to start doing our bit for the planet again.
So without further ado, here are a few simple ways that you can do that!
Growing fruit and vegetables requires significantly fewer resources than animal-based foods, and therefore a diet rich in plants is not only one of the healthiest diets to adopt, but also one of the most environmentally friendly, too.
Eating sustainably does not end at eating plant-based. The end goal is to make eating seasonally the norm as well. Our modern way of life has allowed us to become all too comfortable with being able to access fruit and vegetables all year round when, in reality, it’s not natural to do so. By committing to eating seasonal foods, you are lowering your carbon footprint and reducing the demand for foods that are not in season. Other benefits of seasonal eating include:
The arrival of colder days means that it’s time for our lives to slow down a little bit. Many of us have already been living slowly since the beginning of lockdown, but have you found that it’s actually been improving your mental health?
The idea of living slowly is all about living with more purpose and mindful action. It means enjoying the little things and not putting pressure on yourself to be overly productive all of the time. This lifestyle goes hand in hand with being eco-friendly because it encourages growing your own produce, spending time indoors, upcycling old and forgotten items, and cooking homemade meals.
When shopping, try to be mindful about the brands you’re choosing and how products have been manufactured etc. For example, if you’re looking for autumn-scented vegan candles, perhaps opt for handmade products that are also soy-based instead.
You can stay cosy and warm in the colder months without being too reliant on your heating, I promise! Before it gets too cold, you could work on weatherproofing your home, for example, fix drafty windows and doors and insulate the loft. Thick curtains also do a great job at keeping the warmth in, and of course, you can always layer up before resorting to switching the heating on.
In autumn, the natural world goes through an awe-inspiring transformation of bold reds and oranges, and it’s too beautiful to miss out on. So invest in a pair of good quality wellington boots and get into the swing of going for a daily stroll (especially if you're working from home at the moment). Spending time in nature does wonders for your mental health as it reduces anxiety and stress, but it’s also great exercise and less time spent in front of your devices!
Another way to spend time in nature during autumn is to maintain your garden. Wildlife needs our help more than ever during the colder months, so autumn is a great opportunity to provide them with shelter and food. You can find my top tips for increasing biodiversity in your garden here.