12 Tips for Eco-Friendly Apartment Living
Creating an eco-friendly apartment is life-changing. Not only are you doing your moral obligation of saving the planet and earth’s natural resources but you are also helping yourself and the people you love to be provided with a cleaner and safer environment. Get rid of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, products that contain toxic chemicals, and make earth-conscious steps for the benefit of the entire planet. Start with these simple tips:
I. Switch to LED lightbulbs.
You do not need an entire greenhouse or large and expensive solar panels just to make your apartment eco-friendly. You only need to make informed decisions and change a few things in your apartment like your lightbulbs. Instead of using the traditional halogen, you can replace your bulbs with LED. It will not only lower your electricity bill but also your carbon footprints.
II. Start a small herb garden.
Save up some money from buying herbs in the supermarket. Find a space in your apartment where natural sunlight shines indirectly and there you can place your small herb garden. You can build your own from used cans and potting soil. Basil, mint, chives, parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and dill are the most common easy-to-grow herbs. Water them daily and enjoy harvesting for your dishes.
III. Make compost from kitchen scraps.
Never toss your kitchen scraps or food waste in the trash bin. You can try making compost instead. A compost keeps any green plant’s soil rich and healthy for them to grow at its best. It acts as a natural fertilizer and creates an ideal environment for microorganisms to feed on them.
IV. Try eco-responsive appliances.
Did you know that deodorants, perfumes, hairsprays, soaps, and other household cleaning materials release VOCs (or volatile organic compounds) which can produce or start forming smog? If you use these products on a daily basis and if your apartment is situated in a place where smog and poor outdoor air quality are an issue, you just might find a smart air purifier useful. They help clean your air and improve its quality. Smart thermostats can also be installed to get accurate temperature readings and adjust the temperature of your home to cut down on your heating and cooling bills.
V. Sort your garbage and recycle.
Consider creating a system of disposing of garbage by separating recyclable from food items. For example, you should have separate containers for food scraps, non-biodegradable (plastic, glass, metal and etc.), and recyclable (paper, wood, cardboard, bottles and etc.).
VI. Add plants.
Plants enhance the overall appearance of apartment space. They also boost your mood, reduce stress, increase your creativity and eliminate air pollutants so you can breathe freely knowing you have good air quality inside your home.
VII. Ventilate and open your windows.
Another way to improve your air quality and make your apartment more eco-friendly is to naturally ventilate your apartment by opening your windows. This will allow chemicals and toxins present in your air to come out and make room for fresher air. By doing this, you can also welcome natural lighting. As such, you are using less energy and save money.
VIII. Save energy and conserve water.
Unplug gadgets or appliances that are fully charged or not in use. Switch off the lights in rooms unoccupied. To conserve water, always check if there are leaky or broken pipes. Take shorter showers than usual and reuse laundry water as flush water for the toilet. Speak with your landlord if something needs fixing as this is your landlord’s responsibility.
IX. Use eco-friendly cleaning products.
Commercial products often contain harmful and toxic chemicals which can be very bad for our health and contribute to air and water pollution. An eco-friendly apartment uses natural cleaning products that are safe for the environment like baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar.
X. Buy zero-waste and sustainable items.
Before you buy stuff, always bring a reusable bag with you. Remember to control how much unnecessary stuff you are bringing into when you rent an apartment because it will only end up in your trash bin. If you can buy grocery items that can be transferred to reusable bags, containers, or jars, then you are freeing your home from wasteful packaging and you are shopping consciously. Shop at your local sustainable grocery.
XI. Re-use and remake old stuff.
An eco-friendly apartment owner follows a zero-waste lifestyle by reducing consumption and reusing and recycling materials. Instead of throwing away items in your trash, think of ways how you can recycle them and give them to others as a gift. Remake, remodel and reuse.
XII. Support local.
Whether it is your community market or a startup brand that advocates acting on environmental issues, as long as they are invested in the well-being of the planet and the future generations, support them. Small and local businesses are good for the environment since they have smaller carbon footprints than larger ones.
About The Author:
Katreena is a scientist and a life hack specialist. She's authored scientific journals on biotechnology and molecular biology. To take a break from scientific journals, she puts her mind into writing about lifestyle, health, and sustainability. She strongly believes that kindness makes the world go round.