How to Go Green in an Apartment

Living a green lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to own a house, apartment owners can do their share in being ‘green’ and eco-friendly. When living in an apartment, appliances, and utilities are most likely handled by your landlord or leasing company. This doesn’t mean there aren’t tips to help save you money and be environmentally conscious at the same time. Follow these tips for living a green apartment lifestyle.

Observe your waste: Apartments and their residents generate tons of trash, and refuse on a regular basis. Ask your landlord if they have a recycling system in place for separated recycled content. Recyclable containers for paper, glass, and aluminum are a good start. In your own apartment be mindful of personal waste. Switch from Styrofoam cups to biodegradable or glass ones. Reduce junk mail waste by changing to online billing and paperless statements. Ask for your food take-out to be placed in cardboard or recyclable material containers. Under your kitchen cabinets keep small recyclable containers to sort immediately when you’re finished using a container. This will save you time and energy to not have to sort through a dirty kitchen trashcan.

– Minimize your energy consumption: Regardless if your utilities are included in your monthly rent or if you pay them separately, minimizing your energy consumption can help everyone. Consider turning your thermostat down or up depending on the season. Consider dressing warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer to avoid changing the thermostat constantly.
– Change out your light bulbs: Consider switching out your traditional incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. They use less energy and last almost 10 times longer than the traditional bulb. Switch out bulbs in lamps, overhead lighting, wall sconces, and
– Utilize public transportation or carpool: If you live in an urban environment where public transit is an option, considering using instead of driving. This will save money for you and help minimize carbon emissions put into the Earth’s atmosphere. If you need to drive, try to organize a carpool with an apartment neighbor or a coworker.
– Washer and Dryer usage: If you have your own units in your apartment, try to plan a schedule with your roommate so the machines aren’t being used every day to conserve energy. When washing clothes use cold water as much as possible and ask your apartment landlord to install high efficiency washer machines. Use cooler dry settings in dryers, and don’t dry clothes on the longest setting.
-Conserve water in the bathroom and kitchen: Plan with your roommate(s) when you will use the dishwasher, and take showers. Be mindful of each other’s schedule and try to shorten the length of your showers and baths. Water consumption in apartments can be kept to a minimal with low flow faucets installed in the showers as well. Ask your landlord if they plan on installing water saving fixtures in your home.

Apartment green living can be made easier with the help of these useful tips. Before renting an apartment, ask what green practices the complex has in place. This should weigh into your impression of the complex. If they care enough about saving money and the Earth’s resources, they will probably be more attentive to their tenants. If your apartment does not have green practices in place, give them a few suggestions to see if they will consider and stress the long term advantages for everyone involved.