By Catherine Moran
Fall is my favorite season. I love the feeling in the air — one of change, with a hint of nostalgia. Not to mention the smell of leaves and pumpkin pie and apple cider and fires and spice breads and the feel of warm sweaters and boots and … well, the list could go on and on.
This past weekend I went apple and pumpkin picking with friends. We enjoyed much fall foliage while carpooling to Connecticut. Autumn is a great season (the greatest, I would argue!) and enjoying fall events is an easy way to be green without any extra effort.
Apple and pumpkin picking are two fall family and friend traditions that are green in and of themselves: you bring home apples, a green “fast food,” and pumpkins, which can be made into Jack-O-Lanterns. Jack-O-Lanterns are powered by candles and not by power cords, both pleasing to the eye and the green soul. Pumpkin seeds are also a delicious snack that you can make at home, rather than purchasing from a store in a plastic container. If you are cooking pumpkin pie or apple pie–or any other pumpkin or apple concoction–and carving pumpkins with friends, you are spending important time interacting outside of a television or computer screen and enjoying one another’s company, a side effect of some green activities.
While apple picking, you are also composting. Once you’ve enjoyed an apple (or two…or four), the core is usually discarded in the orchard. Voila! But, remember: apples that fall to the ground are still good to eat.
If you do your research before you head out to pick, try to go to a farm that lets you bring your own bags. Some farms allow you to pick as many apples as you can fit into your bags, and you pay based on the weight. This helps cut down on plastic bags that will later be tossed, and may in the long run be worth more for the money.
Having fun picking apples was indeed a nice way to end September, but the highlight of the trip for me was stopping at Las Vetas, an adorable café. As a coffee lover, I swooned over the wondrous caffeine concoctions, but I was most overjoyed by the offering of coffee mugs for folks staying in for a cuppa. Not only did it make it feel like I was sipping my latte in a friend’s kitchen, but it was, of course, green! I never wanted to leave. If you’re ever in the area, I recommend a visit.
What’s your favorite part of fall? If you know of any ways to make fall activities greener, I’d love for you to share. Happy October, greenies!
Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter @folowbredcrumbs, or check out her excellent book blog.