Across Canada, the leaves are slowly beginning to turn. Kids are heading back to school, the beachside cottages are clearing out for the season, and there’s a noticeable chill in the air. While it’s bittersweet to see another summer pass, Canadians understand that there’s an understated beauty in autumn – an essential part of the natural cycle of things.
And it’s precisely this understanding that encourages us to seek out eco-friendly, sustainable ways to enjoy the season. As a nature-loving country, we’re always on the lookout for respectful activities that don’t upset the ecosystem or add to the snowballing climate crisis.
Below, let’s explore four eco-friendly ways to celebrate fall in Canada. Grab a few friends or corral the family, and don’t forget a sweater – let’s celebrate the season.
Bike to a Nearby Organic Apple-Picking Orchard
Across most of Canada, you can throw a stick at the nearest apple orchard. From the cider-centric orchards dotting Quebec to the sprawling fruit farms of the west coast, this country’s obsession with apples is obvious.
And fall is the perfect time to celebrate the humble fruit. From late summer to November, apple trees are rife with offerings, and orchards encourage visitors to fill their baskets (for a modest fee). Not only is apple-picking a fantastic way to spend a weekend day, but there are countless ways to use an apple: in compotes, pies, salads, crumbles or – if you’re ambitious – a homemade batch of hard cider.
Visit a Vegan Comfort Food Restaurant for Your Fall Fix
Whereas summer was all about fresh, leafy produce and citrus-forward dressings, fall is decidedly heartier. As the cold weather descends, people seek out richer, more comforting options to sustain them.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly, sustainable way to get your comfort food fix, find a vegan restaurant that specializes in the classics. Take Parka, one of the best vegan restaurants in Toronto – they specialize in vegan comfort food items like mac n’ cashew cheese, black bean burgers, plant-based poutine and a tempeh ‘bacon’ club wrap. Restaurants like Parka demonstrate that you can still eat like a king in fall without sacrificing sustainability.
Celebrate Halloween with Homemade Costumes, Home-Cooked Pumpkin
Halloween is the pinnacle of fall fun, but it’s often accompanied by its share of waste: single-use costumes, mini candy wrappers and pumpkins destined for the garbage.
There’s not much you can do about the candy wrappers; parents are (rightly) worried about unsealed homemade offerings. But you can inject some eco-friendly attitude into your costumes and pumpkins. Instead of shopping for a costume this year, make one from repurposed clothing items and decorations. And rather than trash your pumpkin, cut it into sections, sprinkle it with garam masala and roast it in the oven for a hearty side dish.
Thrift-Shop Your Fall Wardrobe
Fast fashion hits its stride in the fall as consumers look to replace their summer wardrobe with something new. But fast fashion brands contribute to a bevy of environmental problems: water usage, wastewater runoff, ocean-bound microplastics and landfill-bound textile waste. Rather than shop for new clothing this fall, consider taking your money to a vintage store. Reusing clothing is a fantastic way to curb the overconsumption of resources. (And it looks pretty great, too!).
This fall, let’s honour the Great Canadian environment with these eco-friendly, sustainable activities.
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