Going green seems to be the buzzword these days, but what does it all mean? Many of us want to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint and limit the impact our everyday activities have on the environment. If you’re looking to make some changes to your lifestyle all in the name of the preserving our planet, there are a myriad of easy ways for both residents and landlords to make apartment-dwelling Earth friendly. By following the steps outlined below, living in an apartment can be one of the most eco-friendly decisions you’ll ever make!
Flip the Lights:
As an apartment renter, you can make many small changes to the way you live that will help make your home green. One of the easiest is to switch to compact fluorescent bulbs from your regular incandescent bulbs. Compact fluorescents use less energy and last much longer than their incandescent counterparts. In addition, simply opening your blinds and draperies during the day for natural light will help to lower your energy bill in the long run.
When it comes to doing your laundry, use cold water instead of warm or hot. You can purchase laundry detergents that are specially formulated for cold water washing that will ensure your clothes are still thoroughly cleaned without wasting energy on the water-heating process. By the same token, if you have a dishwasher in your suite, skip the traditional “pre-rinse”. With advances in dishwasher technology and detergents, you’ll be pleased to hear that this step has become outdated.
Pull the Plug:
Another simple option is to unplug electronics that you rarely use. For example, if you only use your blender three times a week, unplug it on days when you do not need it. Most electronics still consume power even when they are in the “off” mode. This includes cell phone chargers as well. Be sure to unplug them from the wall when you are not charging to help save energy (and reduce your electricity bill!).
Cool it on Heating and Cooling:
Consider your options when it comes to heating and cooling. Do you really need to turn your air conditioner on, or could you open a window for breeze? The same goes for your heat consumption. Baseboard heaters are notorious energy-guzzlers, so use them sparingly if possible. You may also want to speak with your landlord to see about changing the method of heating in your suite and/or building.
Shoot for the Stars:
Landlords can make a huge difference in the green impact of their buildings. Changing appliances to their Energy Star certified counterparts will decrease the amount of energy used by the building as a whole. In many cases, there are government rebates associated with purchasing and using Energy Star certified appliances. Another smart option is to install low-flow shower heads and toilets, decreasing the overall amount of water used by the building. Include blinds and draperies in all suites to encourage heating and cooling regulation without the use of electricity. When an apartment is vacant, unplug all appliances and turn off utilities until it is rented to a new resident.
Do Your Part:
Landlords and renters can work together to create a green living space for all. For example, if you feel a draft coming from your windows in the winter time, alert your landlord so they can fix the weather stripping immediately. The same goes for common areas – turn off the lights in the laundry room or garbage room when you leave. Put up a sign in the mail room that indicates no junk mail. This way, the newspapers and flyers that no one reads won’t pile up. Finally, encourage recycling in the building by making it easy for everyone. If the recycling containers are directly beside the garbage, they are noticeable and more likely to be utilized.
By working together and making small changes, the environmental impact of your apartment can be greatly reduced – and that is something everyone can feel good about!
-The RentSeeker.ca Team