Making the change to eco-friendly living can be overwhelming when you’re first starting out. Particularly when you live in an apartment where space is limited, and you can’t do major renovations.
While solar panels, a wind turbine, and a large organic gardening operation may not be in the cards, eco-friendly apartment living is still doable. Want to know how to live green in an apartment? Read on for our quick and easy eco-friendly apartment ideas.
20 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly
- Replace your light bulbs. Most apartment communities have made a switch to eco-friendly options, but don’t forget about your lamps. Swap out any standard incandescent or CFL light bulbs in lamps for LED light bulbs, which use only a fraction of the energy and last much longer.
- Adjust the thermostat. Turning your thermostat down by just 10 degrees can reduce energy consumption by up to 15%.
- Give the AC a break. Open the windows and learn how to stay cool without blasting the air conditioner in the summer.
- Rethink your lighting. Opt for natural light and wide-open curtains when the weather permits. And, of course, turn off the lights whenever you leave a room.
- Unplug your devices. When not in use or away from home, unplug small appliances like computers, phone chargers, hair dryers, and kitchen appliances such as toasters and blenders. Or use smart plugs to easily turn off electrical items when they aren’t in use.
- Replace your shower head. Install a new, low-flow shower head to reduce water usage. Swapping out your standard shower head takes just a few minutes and is usually allowed under the terms of your lease.
- Reduce water usage. Turn off the sink while brushing your teeth, fill the basin with water instead of using running water when washing dishes, and take shorter showers to live more eco-friendly.
- Up the insulation. Curtains, draft stoppers, and clear window insulation sheets can help reduce energy loss and energy costs. Use rugs on bare or tiled floors to help keep your feet toasty and have lots of cozy throws and blankets on hand to add another layer when you get chilly.
- Check your fridge. The refrigerator is one of the biggest users of energy in your apartment. Don’t obstruct vents in the back of the fridge or freezer, turn off your ice maker if you don’t need it, and keep your fridge and freezer full (but not stuffed) to keep it working at optimum efficiency.
- Eliminate single use plastics. Replace single-use water bottles with a reusable options, ditch the plastic utensils when getting takeout or delivery, and bring a travel mug with you to the coffee shop.
- Buy in bulk. Save money and reduce single use plastics by buying bath, body, and household products in bulk and reuse old containers or, even better, glass bottles or jars if you have them. E-commerce sites like Public Goods, CleanCult and Common Good sell and ship refillables in recyclable or compostable packaging.
- Shop with reusable bags. Say goodbye to grocery store plastic bags and stock up on reusable tote bags and mesh vegetable bags that can be washed between uses. Keep them by the front door and in your car, so you won’t forget.
- Ditch the plastic. Swap out Ziploc bags with reusable silicone or linen options, use beeswax instead of plastic wrap, and choose glass bottles or metal storage containers over plastic.
- Get into composting. Toss food scraps like coffee grounds, banana peels and vegetable skins into a table-top composter, or you can reuse any old plastic lidded container. When it’s full, take it to a drop off site or check your local farmer’s market.
- Recycle what you can. Many apartment communities have recycling programs onsite, so ask your management team. If they don’t have one, check online for recycle drop-off locations near you and make a trip on your own.
- Eliminate synthetic fabrics. Whenever possible, buy bedding, towels and other household textiles made of organic, natural materials like linen, cotton or bamboo.
- Shop vintage. Buy home décor second-hand from estate sales, consignment stores, or antique shops to cut down on mass production and waste. Plus, it gives you a unique conversation piece.
- Clean green. Avoid toxic chemicals and make your own cleaning products out of organic household items like white vinegar, baking soda and lemons. Use reusable wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets that end up in landfills.
- Add plants. Live green in an apartment by adding green to the space. Houseplants improve the indoor air quality and recycle carbon dioxide.
- Shop local. Local farmer’s markets are not only a great way to get outside and buy fresh food options, they also support local small businesses and reduce how far your food has to travel. Don’t forget your reusable bags!
Create an Eco-Friendly Apartment with Southern Management
Learning how to live green in an apartment can be challenging, especially when you are just starting out. The good news is that just committing to eco-friendly apartment living is a big step. Think small and intentional and remember that every step which puts you on the path of living a green lifestyle in your apartment can have a big impact on the planet.
At Southern Management, we have plenty of eco-friendly apartment ideas to help you live healthy and more sustainably. If you’re striving to meet your own eco-friendly apartment living goals, consider making a new home with Southern Management.
We have over 25,000 apartments in Maryland and Virginia, many of which have eco-friendly features to promote eco-friendly apartment living, including onsite recycling programs, community gardens and green spaces, bike share programs, and even car-charging stations.
Contact our team to learn more today!