Living in an apartment generally means living in a smaller space and this can lead to lower electricity and home heating usages, but that does not mean you are off the hook yet! When it comes to eco-friendly living there is a lot more that you can do in your apartment to help the going green movement.
There is no need to invest a lot of of money to make your apartment eco-friendly. Like with everything in life, it helps to start small and take it one step at a time. If you do, however, make small investments, you can benefit from them in the long run and the day you decide on renovating your apartment, is the time to make those smart eco-friendly investments.
Examples of these bigger investments are:
– Underwood heating, installations from recycled materials, water based paints for painting, making use of solar appliances, replacing single glazed windows with double glazed, choosing wood window frames over UPVC or metal ones, blocking all draughts and using material like bamboo are more environmentally friendly to use as hardwood flooring. When making these big changes it is always better to opt for a local painter, handyman or builder with the knowledge of eco-friendly living.
In the mean time for the new comers of going green who are not planning a renovation, here are some changes you can make to your lifestyle and in your apartment that can help you make the transition:
– In order to save electricity, you should choose electricity saving bulbs and get rid of the old ones, pay attention how you use your appliance for example, no need to keep things plugged in if they are not being used, only open the fridge when really needed and turn off lights where not needed. You can lower the thermostat on your hot water and wash clothes on a quicker, cold cycle. If your apartment does not have a washing line outside you can always get a wash rack to use close to the window during the summer instead of using a tumble dryer.
– There is a saying, “a dripping tap looses wealth down the drain “. Fix water leaks and re-use water, for example by collecting the water you run in the shower before it turns warm and re-use it for watering plants. Another trick is to decrease the water you flush by adding a 1litre water bottle in your toilet tank.
– Recycling is the most obvious one, but living in an apartment can make it challenging. In case there is no recycling movement happening in your building you can always ask the building supervisor to start one and provide recycling containers.
– Another limitation apartments may have is the lack of a garden. If you do however have a small balcony you can start planting vegetables and herbs in pots or just some herbs in your kitchen close to the window itself.
– Small apartments with fewer windows might limit your fresh air supply and to fix this problem you can choose plants like spider plants or golden pothos that works great as air purifiers. And where ever you need to get rid of any bad odours you can always light some incense instead of using an airfreshner spray can.
– Carpets on wooden floors (straw mats are more eco-friendly) will not only be softer, but can help safe 4% to 6% on energy bills.
– If you need furniture there is no need to always buy brand new, you can opt for second-hand ones or buy at antique stores or even up-cycle your old ones to give them a new feel. If you have that creative flair, there are many ways to recycle and create home decor and artwork for your space.
These are just a couple of ideas that can get you started as there are many eco-friendly goods on the market and smart eco-friendly routines to follow, but it all comes down to you making the conscious decision to cut waste and develop the lifestyle that helps the planet to become greener. Maybe you have the money to spend and run a high water bill each month, therefore the best approach is to ask yourself for who are you going green? Knowing what and who you are making these positive changes for will motivate you to carry through.
The guest post is written by Matt Reilly, operations manager and writer @ Reilly Roofing and Gutters, San Antonio.