When it comes to reducing your carbon footprint and taking environmental action, the best place to start is your own home. If you’re a renter, there are some small ways you can commit to eco-friendly apartment living. While you may not be able to install solar panels or utilize green energy sources, you can take daily steps in the right direction. Being mindful of things like your cleaning products, recycling practices and water consumption will add up over time, and those are just the beginning. Here are a few ways you can start to make your apartment eco-friendly today.
Recycle The Right Way
Many of us recycle as a way to reduce our carbon footprint. But if you aren’t recycling the right way, you may be doing more harm than good. Check out our previous post on what not to recycle to learn what items don’t belong in the blue bin.
Devices that are turned off but still plugged into an outlet can waste a lot of energy over long periods. It’s best to unplug unused electronics to conserve energy in your apartment. Don’t forget to turn off all the lights when you leave your space, too. And speaking of lights, opt for energy-saving lightbulbs in your apartment. When it comes to temperature controls, resist the urge to blast the heat or air conditioning to save energy year-round.
Energy isn’t the only thing you should be conserving in your home. For an eco-friendly apartment, you need to be conscious of the amount of water you use each day. It’s easy to conserve water: Take shorter showers, don’t let the water run when it’s not in use and be sure to get leaky faucets fixed. Another tip for conserving water: Collect the water you use to rinse off produce and water your house plants with it. Every drop counts.
Clean The Green Way
Traditional cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that can contribute to both water and air pollution. An alternative eco-friendly option is to choose green cleaning products that are all or mostly natural. You can also make your own cleaning solutions at home using basic ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice.
Be Mindful Of Insulation
Insulation issues can lead to wasted energy. If you notice any insulation problems in your apartment, be sure to let your landlord know as soon as possible so that the issue can be resolved. You can also take matters into your own hands by investing in heavy-duty curtains to block drafts. Weighted blockers can also be used to better insulate your space.
Buy Second-Hand Stuff
Thrifting is a fun way to make your apartment more eco-friendly. Look for furniture, apartment accessories and clothing at your local thrift shop the next time you’re in the market for new home furnishings.
Opt For Glass Containers
On the same note, you should reduce your plastic usage as much as possible if eco-friendly apartment living is your goal. One of the easiest swaps you can make is to use glass containers to store your leftovers. Glass can easily be cleaned out and will hold up better than plastic options. Try to purchase food items with the least amount of plastic packaging possible, and opt for glass when you can.