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Spring Forward into Green Apartment Living

February 28, 2012 | Apartment Lifestyle, Green Living

With spring on the way and Earth Day just around the corner, Rent.com is going green with a few tips on how to make your apartment more eco-friendly. So, celebrate with Rent.com as we stay green this spring and work toward a cleaner, greener, and more environmentally responsible lifestyle. This year, go beyond recycling and replacing light bulbs and take a look at a few ways to truly make an impact on the environment with green apartment living.

More Power to You

Of the total energy consumed in the U.S., 30% is used to generate electricity, which represents an important fraction of your environmental footprint. Consider researching clean energy supply options and doing your part to reduce energy usage at home.

  • Check if your local utility company offers green power using the EPA Green Power locator. Clean energy options include highly efficient combined heat and power, as well as renewable energy sources. It will typically cost you a few more cents per kilowatt hour but that can be offset by energy efficient appliances.
  • The energy used in the average house is responsible for twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as the average car. One of the biggest sources of this energy usage is heating and cooling. Take steps to insulate and air-seal your home as much as possible. Also, replace older equipment and appliances with Energy Star qualified options. Energy Star products have met strict standards for energy efficiency without sacrificing performance and will save you at least 30% on energy costs while using significantly less natural resources.

Water, Water, Everywhere

In honor of World Water Day on March 22, make it your goal to consume less water. Energy Star appliances will help with water saving, but another one other great way to make a big impact is installed a WaterSense labeled showerhead, which can save more than 2,300 gallons of water per year for the average household and simultaneously reduce energy demands on water heaters. If every household in the U.S. installed WaterSense labeled showerheads, we could save more than 250 billion gallons of water per year, which could supply more than 2.5 million homes with water needs for a year.

Waste Not, Want Not

Managing household waste is an easy yet important way to reduce your environmental footprint and lessen your demands on natural resources.

  • Reduce food wastage: Thirty perfect of the food produced worldwide is never eaten, and the energy and water used to produce it is lost forever. Shop for only grocery items that you know you will use and opt for locally grown fresh foods. And, consider this: LiveEarth, founded in partnership with Al Gore, says that the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your climate change impact is to not eat meat due to the vast resources required to raise animals for food. In fact, according to Environmental Defense, if every American replaced one meal of chicken per week with a vegetarian option, the carbon dioxide savings would be equal to taking more than half a million cars off the road. Skip meat a few times a week to make a major impact!
  • Don’t stop recycling: Since 1990, we have increased the amount of waste recycled from 15% to 34%. In 2010, we recycled 85 million tons of waste, the energy savings equivalent of nearly 230 million barrels of oil.

What are you doing in your apartment to help the planet?

Sources: Environmental Protection Agency, Native Forest Network, UN-Water Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, EnergyStar.gov, LiveEarth, Peta.org, Environmental Defense

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