As fall moves in and the holiday season approaches, it’s time to take the holiday decorations from the attic and prepare your home and lawn for winter. The cooler weather brings the leaves from the trees and eventually, a white, heavy blanket of snow. As the seasons change, don’t forget the importance of lawn maintenance and environmentally responsible practices. The holidays do not need to be a time of excess, these tips for holiday preparation will help you enjoy a safe, fun and eco-friendly holiday season.
Mulch fall leaves
When the leaves fall in your yard, your first thought may be to rake them into piles for the town or city to pick up. But when your kids jump in and make a mess of things, don’t get upset, consider mulching leaves where they fall, or bagging the mulch and spreading it in your garden. Mulching is good for your lawn as the leaves introduce nutrients into the soil when they are broken down. You can still rake up the leaves, especially if you have a lawn with many trees, but mulching once in a while will leave you with a healthier lawn in the spring and is more environmentally responsible than burning the leaves. (Burning leaves releases dust, soot mold and excess carbon monoxide into the air.)
Create a winter wonderland in your yard
Design your landscape with plants that are hearty enough to make it through the winter. Planting evergreens, holly and checkerberry bushes creates a landscape that stays green despite the snow. You can also adorn your pines and other trees with natural, environmentally responsible outdoor holiday decorations like strands of popcorn and cranberries. Finally, hang pinecone and peanut butter bird feeders to attract the beautiful birds that haven’t flown south for the winter.
Use LED lights in your outdoor holiday decorations
LED lights consume 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and they generally last longer. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to put up your holiday decorations, LED lights are the smart choice. They also burn cooler than incandescent bulbs, so not only do they lower your energy bill, but they are also safer for indoor use. You can also choose to light-up walkways with eco-friendly, solar powered lights for a safer and more environmentally responsible path for your guests.
Choose a live tree
Cutting down a live tree for the holidays is much more environmentally responsible than choosing a fake tree. Most evergreens are sustainable because they are grown on tree farms and replaced each year. After the holidays, you can also use the boughs from your tree to protect your more delicate plants throughout the winter, and many cities or towns will recycle the trees for you if you put them out on the right collection days. Or, if you have a chipper or shredder you can make your own mulch in the backyard. Fake trees on the other hand, require more energy and petroleum-based materials during the manufacturing process. Besides, live trees look and smell better!
Prepare your snow blower before the first storm
Before the cold weather hits, make sure your equipment is in good shape to clear driveways and walkways. A snow blower is a great tool to handle heavy, wet snow, especially if you live somewhere that can get a foot overnight. You don’t want to wait until the first snowfall to try and use your snow blower, only to find it needs the oil changed or you’re missing important snow blower parts. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, consider electric snow blowers or choose environmentally responsible oil that uses less energy during production.