For many, the thought of eco-friendly living might conjure up images of something like granola in mason jars and hemp hand towels. Whatever your impression of sustainable living, the important thing to note is that although it may require changing your normal routine, it’s really quite simple. To help you get started with your eco-endeavor, our friends at ABODO gathered 3 ways to help you incorporate sustainable living into your apartment life.
Be More Energy Efficient
No matter where you live, it’s important to take stock of your energy use. With heating and cooling accounting for almost half of the average person’s energy bill each month, as well as a large chunk of the population’s total carbon emissions each year, there are little things you can do that make a big difference overall.
- Replace your light bulbs with CFLs (Compact Fluorescents) that give off less heat (and on warmer days, use less energy to cool your space), last longer, and are energy efficient.
- If it’s possible, purchase energy efficient appliances that have an ENERGY STAR label to help reduce greenhouse gases by using less energy.
- Consider how many appliances are plugged into outlets when not in use. Taking stock of this drastically cuts back on energy use because even though things are not in use. Use a surge protector with a power switch that can help you manage your appliances even when you aren’t around.
Be More Mindful in the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of our home and the heart of many sustainable habits as well. Here, you can make daily choices that have far-reaching, positive effects, so it’s worth making the change and taking the plunge.
- Eliminate the use of single-use, disposable plastics like Saran wrap and plastic bags that are harmful to our fragile ecosystem. Replace them with reusable containers, bottles, and even beeswax wrap instead!
- Become familiar with your town’s recycling practices and learn how to properly recycle certain materials. Knowing how they operate can you help contribute to those efforts.
- Compost your food scraps! Many stores sell small composting containers that are easy to transport to your waste management center or local community garden for proper disposal.
Be a More Conscious Consumer
Being choosy about what products you bring into your apartment makes you more aware of your role as a consumer. Living a sustainable lifestyle, whether in an apartment or a three-story home, requires careful consideration of each and every purchase no matter how small.
- Reduce your paper trail by unsubscribing from mailing lists. “Opt-out” of unsolicited mail like credit card offers and catalogs to drastically cut back on the amount of wasted paper.
- Use non-toxic and biodegradable soaps, cleaning products and detergents—or even make your own! Making the switch to non-toxic could mean a world of difference for both you and the planet’s health.
- Fill your apartment with multi-purpose objects. Decorative accents like baskets can also function as great storage, reducing the need to purchase throwaway items. The more you love and appreciate your stuff, the more important its longevity will be. Sustainability never means sacrificing style!
- When painting, make sure to look for low or zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint. Most reputable local painters should use ‘No-VOC’ paints!
Written By: Matt Lawler
Matt Lawler is a lifestyle blogger, Internet marketing specialist and a graduate of Arizona State University. When he isn’t writing, Matt likes to enjoy the outdoors. He can often be found hiking, cycling or finding new ways to explore his home state of Arizona.