Reducing Waste 5 Things You and Your Roommates Can Share

Reducing Waste: 5 Things You Can Share

January 28, 2014 | Apartment Lifestyle, Roomie Relations

Sharing with your roommate might sound about as fun as sharing with a younger sibling was when you were kids. Your belongings are yours, and you want to keep it that way. However, there are a few things worth splitting with your roommate, especially when it comes to conservation. Reducing waste and creating a cleaner environment can be as simple as sharing. Here are a few things you and your roommate can split:

1. Laundry and Dishes

Combine your laundry with your roommate’s rather than doing your own small- to medium​-size loads. Doing the laundry uses water and electricity and if you aren’t washing a full load, you’re wasting. Let your roommate know that you plan on washing your clothes and ask if she has anything to add. You can alternate paying for loads or split the fee each time.

Combine your dirty dishes if you have a dishwasher. Using a dishwasher can be more efficient than washing by hand as you aren’t leaving the sink running. Of course, a full load of dishes uses water more wisely than doing several small loads. Wipe the plates and bowls before putting them in the dishwasher instead of rinsing, which helps it use less water.

2. Driving

Even if you and your roommates each own a car, you can share a single vehicle and reduce the amount you drive. Go to the grocery store together in one vehicle rather than taking individual trips. Reduce carbon emissions by carpooling for errand runs or social outings. This eco-friendly method will save you gas money as well as protect the environment. You can alternate who drives to the bank, grocery store, gym and more.

3. Grocery Bags

If you can’t always carpool to the grocery store because of schedules, at least share reusable bags. Avoid using plastic and paper if you can, as you just toss or recycle them when you get home. Offer your roommate the use of your reusable bags. If you forget the bags one day, remember to recycle paper and plastic.

4. Seasonal Items

Share seasonal items when living with roommates, whether it’s Christmas decorations, Halloween costumes or Independence Day banners. You only use these things once a year, so there’s no real reason to keep buying more. Pool your decorations with your roommates to celebrate various seasons. Halloween costumes have the potential to be wasteful since you want to wear something new every year. You can do this in a more eco-friendly way by sharing your costume with your roommate. Don’t throw out the character outfits you no longer wear. Share them instead.

5. Electronics

Cut back on your energy consumption by sharing large electronics. For example, only keep one TV in the apartment instead of two (or three). You can watch movies and shows together in one space instead of doing so separately. Do the same with appliances like the microwave, toaster, game systems and more. Plug these items into a power strip and turn the strip off when not in use to avoid consuming phantom loads.

[Image Source: Flickr - Katie Brady]

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