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Get Ready for Fall: Leaf Peeping, Staying Warm, and Saving Money

September 21, 2009 - 3:04pm


Tomorrow is the official first day of fall, and while I always mourn the end of summer, one of the best things about fall is leaf peeping! Last year, we took my father-in-law's red '57 T-bird convertible on a lovely drive through the mountains to see the bright yellow aspens. Something about a car like that draws lots of attention—honks, waves, questions. We basically made friends everywhere we went.

As much fun as that was, it wasn't exactly the most fuel-efficient or environmentally friendly excursion.

I know we can do better this year; beautiful leaves are less than an hour's drive away, and our regular vehicle is much more efficient than the T-bird. We may even take our bicycles to catch some fresh air and off-the-beaten path views (I'm not one to actually bike up the mountain, though I'm in total awe of those who do).

As you plan your leaf peeping, think about how you can save a little on fuel. Do you really need to drive for hours, or is there some beautiful foliage right in your area? And think of ways to actually get out of your car—maybe take a walk, jog, or bike ride. After all, shouldn't enjoying the great outdoors mean you actually get outdoors?

Just some food for thought as you start making your fall plans. And speaking of fall planning, it's also time to think about how you can save energy at home once cold weather hits. To help with your plans, EERE helped you stay cool in summer and today changing its focus to fall and winter energy savings, to help you stay warm, save money.

The site provides a list of simple no-cost and low-cost things you can do to save energy in cool weather. In addition, you can learn about conducting energy audits and how to find assistance for your energy-saving improvements. Finally, be sure to check out the ideas for long-term investments for energy savings (now is the time to make tax-credit-eligible improvements!).

Whether leaf peeping or the cold days ahead are on your mind, how do you plan to save energy this fall?