Want to go green? You’re not alone. The environmental-friendly household trend is no longer a trend at all. In fact, a study from Green Living/MacLean’s shows that 42% of adults have used a natural, organic or eco-friendly household product in the past few years. Sales of green cleaners have also increased by 229% between the years of 2005-2009 alone. As awareness of our “carbon footprints” increases, so does our desire to reduce, reuse and recycle. If you’re looking for easy ways to implement green living into your everyday, we’ve rounded up some tips that will make the transition a simple and, dare we say it, fun one.
The Three R’s
We mentioned them above, and you’ve probably heard the familiar refrain for decades – reduce, reuse and recycle. Most apartment buildings have recycling containers beside the trash bins, making it easy for you to redirect waste from landfills. Start the process in your apartment by setting aside a sturdy bag that you fill with your glass, plastic and paper products. When you have to take out the garbage, make it a habit to take your recycling out at the same time. Once you get a routine down, you won’t even think twice about taking out your recycling. You can also focus on reducing your consumption by switching to online billing (greatly diminishing the amount of mail you receive) and reading your newspapers and magazines on a tablet or the web. Buy a reusable water bottle that you can take with you to work or to the gym rather than using a new plastic bottle each time. And with that, you’ve conquered the three R’s!
The Electricity Ghost
Did you know that appliances that are left plugged in, even if they are not powered on or being actively used, still eat up your electricity? Some of the biggest culprits are cell phone chargers and coffee makers, silently gobbling up energy and increasing your monthly bill at the same time. Unplug these energy hogs when you are not using them; According to Home Guides, this small act can reduce your electricity bill by almost 40%. When you are going away on vacation, unplug your bigger appliances, too – TV’s and computers in particular.
Get a Handle on Your Heat
We all want to be comfortable, but turning your thermostat down in the winter will help to keep more green in your wallet and reduce your energy consumption. Changing your thermostat by just two degrees can cut down on carbon emissions produced by your apartment. In the summer, only turn the air conditioning on when it’s a particularly hot and humid day. Otherwise, use more energy-friendly ceiling fans or create a cross breeze by opening a few windows. Don’t forget to turn your A/C off when you’re out of the apartment – there is no need to keep it cool if there is no one home to enjoy it!
While line-drying your clothes is probably not an option (unless you have a balcony), there are steps you can take to help reduce the effect that washing and drying clothing has on the environment. First, switch to an eco-friendly laundry detergent that won’t pollute the waters with phosphates galore. Second, wash your clothes in cold water. Finally, set the dryer to a cooler setting and, if possible, let some of the lighter clothes air dry. If you have a washer/dryer in your apartment, set a schedule so you are only doing your laundry once a week instead of every few days. You can also inquire with your landlord or property manager about having your building switched to high efficiency machines. It will save both of you money in the long run – and help save the environment, too.
Just a few small changes can make a world of difference to your pocketbook and the earth. Implement some of our green tips today and you’ll be well on your way to giving that green thumb of yours a good workout.
Go Green Go!
The RentSeeker Team