Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you’re being environmentally conscious while living in an apartment in the midst of a big city. But just because you’re not growing your own vegetables or building a compost bin in your backyard doesn’t mean you can’t go green. Not only is sustainable apartment living possible, there are simple things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Consider these green living ideas.
Renter’s Guide to Sustainable Living:
1. Change your Light Bulbs Although it’s fairly obvious that you should turn off the lights when you’re leaving a room, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs will make a difference for the environment, not to mention your electricity bill. When possible, ditch the light bulb altogether and let in natural light through your windows.
2. Unplug: Turn off appliances when they’re not in use to avoid using stand-by power or, better yet, unplug them altogether. Even when your DVD player or coffee maker is turned off, they still draw power from your outlets if they’re plugged in.
3. Use Less Water: There are tons of things you can do to cut back on water usage. In the kitchen, make sure your dishwasher is full before you run it. When you brush your teeth, don’t let the water run. You should also fix leaky taps right away and take short showers whenever possible.
4. Recycle: Be sure to recycle bottles, cans and paper. For truly sustainable living, consider using a refillable water bottle rather than continually buying disposable plastic ones. Instead of using paper plates, take the time to do your dishes.
5. Reduce Junk Mail: You know that annoying paper junk mail that fills up your mailbox? There’s a website called CatalogChoice that will stop the unwanted mail once and for all. Sign up online and save a few trees in the process.
6. Grow Plants: Whether you have a patio or just a sunny window, try growing plants and herbs that you can use in your cooking. If you’re not much of a cook, grow plants anyway! They’ll brighten up your apartment and help clean the air.
7. Buy Eco-Friendly Furniture: If you can afford it, investing in couches and rugs made from sustainable fibers will really help you commit to going green. For a more budget-friendly option, buy gently-used furniture.
8. Reduce Temperature Fluctuation: Minimize the amount of air conditioning or heat you use to reduce your carbon footprint. You can also cover your windows to help regulate the temperature in your apartment without wasting resources.
Are you doing any of these things in your apartment? What are your favorite green living ideas?