Green Apartment

Green up your act! We should take cautions and steps to protect our planet.

With the current situation of our planet, all of us should take steps to protect it. The problem is, apartment dwellers often don’t go beyond recycling. They don’t feel like thinking of the long-term stake of the home or the homeowner’s budget for livable features. Even though your apartment doesn’t technically belong to you, there are still ways that you can make changes to live greener.

You can use these easy tricks to help save resources and your money.

Practice better climate control

climate control

Turn down your thermostat in the winter and back up in the summer. Heating and cooling typically amounts to 50% or more of your energy bill. Switching your room temperature by only two degrees can save a large amount of carbon emissions, which gives you a nice bonus in your next utility bill. Even if utilities are included in your rent, do the right thing and moderate the thermostat whenever possible. Also, ask your landlord if you can change out a traditional thermostat with a programmable type that you can manage remotely. And maybe wearing a sweater in the winter doesn’t cost a thing, but can save you big money in utility bills in the long run.


 Don’t forget those other two R’s

3 big Rs

As an apartment dweller, I’ve always had an issue with my storage space, especially when I am tempted to buy more stuff to tuck in. The quick solution and to be environmentally conscious is to follow the hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.


Watch the waterworks


Rainfall is at record lows in many parts of the United States. A recent law mandates that Californians reduce their water consumption 20percent in the year 2020. The typical American family uses about 400 gallons of water every day, 60% of which is used outdoors for watering the yard and filling a swimming pool or hot tub. According to the United States Geological Survey Water Science School, 4,000 drips from a leaky faucet equals about 1 liter of wasted water. Check for and repair leaks in all toilets, faucets and shower heads. If possible, upgrade to high-efficiency models and install aerators to cut down on water amount but not pressure. Don’t let minor leaks go unfixed. You can also replace your shower heads with low-flow alternatives or try taking shorter showers. Turn off faucets while you’re shaving or brushing your teeth. Remember, every little drop counts.


Get rid of the energy vampires

Energy conservation is not about making limited resources last as long as they can, that would mean that you are doing nothing more than prolong a crisis until you finally run out of energy resources all together. Conservation is the process of reducing demand on a limited supply and enabling that supply to begin to rebuild itself. Many times the best way of doing this is to replace the energy used with an alternate. Without energy conservation, the world will deplete its natural resources.

You can practice these methods to conserve energy:

  • Install CFL Lights: Replacing incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs can last 12 times longer. CFL bulbs will not only save energy but over time you end up saving money.
  • Lower the Room Temperature: Even a slight decrease in room temperature by only a degree or two, can result in big energy savings. The more the difference between indoor and outdoor temperature, the more energy it consumes to maintain room temperature. A more smarter and comfortable way of doing this is to buy a programmable thermostat.
  • Use Energy Efficient Appliances: When planning to buy some electrical appliances, prefer to buy one with Energy Star rating. Energy efficient appliances with Energy Star rating consume less energy and save you money. They might cost you more in the beginning but it is much more of an investment for you.
  • Switch Off Appliances when Not in Use: Electrical appliances like coffee machine, idle printer, desktop computer keep on using electricity even when not in use. Just switch them off if you don’t need them immediately.
  • Unplug Electronic Chargers: This “vampire” electricity loads can account up to 10% of your energy usage if you leave your electronics charging after they’re full charged. You can reduce this just by unplugging your computers, cellphone chargers, game systems, and other electronics when they’re not being used.


Create a green team

Green Home w-Leaf

You can implement your strategies well if you make it a group effort. “Perhaps start a jar where if someone in your home sees that you leave your cellphone charged all night you are fined a quarter. Same thing applies for leaving lights on in an empty room and so on,” Myria Allen says, a professor of communication at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and author of “Strategic Communications for Sustainable Organizations.” So at the end of the month, the funds collected can be used to invest in even more ecologically sound items for your apartment. You can invite your family members, roommates or even the whole apartment complex to start your “Green Team”. Allen says, “More effective energy/water use can be used as a selling point to new tenants, or new tenants are attracted to buildings where residents share a concern for the environment.”