As climate change continues to be a hot topic, eco-friendly products and practices have become buzzwords across almost all industries. But sustainability is more than just a passing trend—it’s a lifestyle. From sustainable apartment living to emissions-free commuting, many of us are striving to become more environmentally conscious in our everyday lives.
In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we’re discussing six small but impactful eco-friendly apartment living tips that can make your home greener without sacrificing any comfort.
Ways to be more sustainable in an apartment
- Conserve energy. Practicing sustainable apartment living can be as easy as flipping a switch. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, flip off the lights when you leave a room, turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees in the winter, and learn how to stay cool without blasting the air conditioner in the summer. You can also use smart plugs to turn off electrical items when they aren’t in use, such as your computer and phone charger.
- Swap out your light bulbs. Switch out any standard incandescent or CFL light bulbs in your apartment for LED light bulbs, which last for up to 25,000 hours and require only a fraction of the energy that standard bulbs use. And don’t worry about LED bulbs giving off only harsh, fluorescent lighting—you can find an eco-friendly bulb in any temperature you prefer, from a warm glow to a bright white light.
- Add plants. Houseplants not only freshen up your apartment décor, but they also improve the indoor air quality and recycle carbon dioxide. According to EcoWatch, one of the top air-purifying plants is the snake plant, which is also low-maintenance—perfect for sustainable living apartment dwellers.
- Insulate your space. Obviously, when you’re renting an apartment, you can’t swap out windows and add insulation to walls to make your place more efficient. But you can select curtains and window treatments that help block drafts and add a weighted draft stopper under your door to retain heat in the winter.
- Compost your scraps. Here’s something that might surprise even the most sustainable living apartment renter: food scraps do not break down in landfills. Waste like vegetable skins, egg shells, banana and orange peels, and apple cores are all designed by nature for food protection and storage, not for decomposition. Which means organic material that gets thrown away in the trash gets stuck in the landfill, releasing climate-damaging methane. To avoid this fate, you can toss food scraps into a composting bin—such as this sleek and modern Chef’n bin, or you can reuse any old plastic lidded container. If you’re worried about smell, keep it in your freezer or on your balcony. When it’s full, take it to a drop off site or check your local farmer’s market.
- Buy used furniture. Of course, the most eco-friendly apartment living tip is to use what you already have. But if you do decide to buy new furniture and décor for your apartment, consider purchasing second-hand from a yard sale, estate sale, consignment store, or an online furniture marketplace.
Embrace Eco-Friendly Apartment Living at Southern Management
If you’re looking for ways to live more sustainably in your apartment, we hope that these easy, eco-friendly tips help guide you to a lifestyle that not only supports the planet, but also supports a healthy body and mind.
For those seeking a fresh new space to go green in, look no further than Southern Management. We have over 25,000 apartments across Maryland and Virginia, many of which have eco-friendly features that promote sustainable apartment living, including onsite recycling programs, community gardens and green spaces, bike share programs, and even car-charging stations.
Explore our communities today with a virtual tour, or contact us for more information!