By Marné Amoguis
Living in an apartment is difficult, especially if you’re trying to make more eco-friendly choices. There are many things you don’t have control over when you’re renting, such as what appliances your home will have and whether or not there’s parking. However, you can make your apartment more eco-friendly with these tips.
Change Out the Lightbulbs
Your landlord will likely use the cheapest lightbulbs they can find, so you can’t guarantee they’re eco-friendly. One of the best places to start to make your apartment more environmentally friendly is to upgrade your lightbulbs. Instead of using halogen bulbs, switch them out for LEDs. LED lightbulbs will help you use less electricity, which means a lower electrical bill at the end of each month.
LED lightbulbs are more expensive than halogens, so if you want to save yourself a few bucks, consider keeping the halogen bulbs and switching them back out when you move out.
Use an Efficient Air Purifier
While your apartment might not have options for which major appliances you have, including your washing machine or dryer, there are appliances you can make conscious decisions about, such as your air purifier.
Air purifiers can help you keep your indoor air clean and reduce allergies caused by mold and dust. They can also help you remove odors in your home more efficiently than deodorizers, perfume, and household cleaners. These home products release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are air pollutants that can damage your health and the environment.
Plan an Eco-friendly Move
Whether you’re moving into a new apartment or simply moving out of your home, consider planning a more eco-friendly move. Working with a moving company can help you move your stuff in one trip so you don’t have to worry about using multiple vehicles or taking multiple trips.
Not all apartment complexes have a recycling bin where you can toss all your recyclables when you take out the trash. However, you can make a promise to recycle more. If you have a recycling center nearby, set a day every week that you drop off your recyclables so it becomes part of your routine.
Even if you don’t have a nearby recycling center, consider collecting your bottles and cans so you can recycle them when you go to the grocery store. By making more conscious decisions, you can start to make your apartment more eco-friendly.
If your landlord doesn’t provide you with a recycling bin near your apartment, consider speaking to them about getting one, especially if you’re a long-term resident.
Use Less Water
Using less water can help you make your apartment more eco-friendly. There are many ways you can use less water, including shortening your showers and only running your dishwasher when it’s full. To make your entire bathroom more eco-friendly, you can also replace your shower head with one that’s more efficient and loses less water. That means you won’t have to cut your shower time in half to reach your goals. Instead, you can spend as much time as you want in the shower and still use less water than ever before.
Insulate the Apartment
As a renter, you have no control over what’s in your walls as far as insulation is concerned, which means you might be spending more on heating and cooling your home than you should be. Luckily, there are ways to improve your insulation without putting holes in the walls, which means you’ll use less energy and have lower electricity bills each month. Here’s how you can improve your apartment’s insulation:
Thick curtains can help stop cold air from passing through your windows and window frames in the water and into your home so your home can retain heat. Curtains can also block the hot sun from entering your apartment during hot summer days so your air conditioning won’t have to kick in to keep you cooler.
If you notice that a lot of cold air is breaching your windows in the winter, then you might need to block it at its source. Consider caulking around your windows so the cold air can’t come inside. Caulk is a cheap and effective way to stop warm and cold air from entering your apartment when you don’t want it to. When you move out of your home, you can peel the calk off the window as if it was never there.
Consider Your Transporation
Even though electric vehicles and hybrids are becoming more mainstream, many apartment complexes don’t offer charging stations for residents. While purchasing a more eco-friendly car may be out of the cards, for now, there are other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and fossil fuels, including walking more and using public transportation.
Redesign Your Home
How you design your home can also play a role in how effective you are at reducing your carbon footprint while living in an apartment. Instead of purchasing all new furniture and decor, consider purchasing secondhand items. If you have a creative side, you can even add new materials to old things to make them look brand new.
Make Your Pet More Eco-friendly
Having a pet means you don’t just have to worry about your habits, but your pet’s habits as well. While you can’t stop them from doing their business outside, you can use eco-friendly products to help you take better care of your pet and the environment. For example, eco-friendly pet waste bags can help you reduce your use of plastic.
Shop With Reusable Bags
Part of making your apartment eco-friendly is changing your habits. While it may seem convenient to use plastic bags at a grocery store, it’s not eco-friendly. Instead of getting stuck with a bunch of plastic bags at the end of your shopping trip, consider keeping reusable grocery bags in your car.
Use Reusable Cups
Grabbing a single-use cup of coffee on your way to work can be a simple way to get your necessary daily boost of caffeine, but getting a new cup every day and tossing it away is only adding to landfills. Instead, purchase a reusable coffee cup you can take anywhere and wash at the end of the day. If you go to a coffee shop, you can ask if they would be willing to put your coffee order into your reusable cup.
About the Author
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.