Even though your apartment doesn’t technically belong to you, there are still ways that you can make changes to live greener. Going green doesn’t have to mean adding permanent installations to your landscape or building. Change your lifestyle instead of your structure and you can still have a positive effect on the environment.
Banish the Bottle
Plastic water bottles fill up a large portion of landfills. Avoid adding to this problem by installing a faucet water filter and using stainless steel water bottles when you’re on the move. If you have an older faucet that won’t accept a modern filter, use a filter pitcher to achieve the same results.
Hidden Electricity Thieves
Appliances that are turned off but still plugged in continue to draw power from your outlets. Unplug cell phone chargers, coffee makers and other items that you only use for part of the day, and save a significant portion of your electric bill. In the average home, this could result in a savings of up to 40 percent, making a significant reduction on our electricity usage.
Heating and Cooling
Turn down your thermostat in the winter and back up in the summer. Switching your room temperature by only two degrees can save a large amount of carbon emissions, and give you a nice bonus in your next utility bill. Wearing a sweater in the winter doesn’t cost a thing, but can save you big money in utility bills in the long run.
Maximize Your Machines
Going green doesn’t mean that you have to avoid modern conveniences such as washing machines and dishwashers, but don’t use them wastefully. Wait until you have a full load to turn the machine on. You don’t have to do the dishes every night if you only produce two or three dirty items each day. Wait a few days until your machine is full, then run the load as usual.
Cover Your Windows
You may have chosen your apartment partly because of a spectacular view, but keeping it on display all the time could cost you money and waste resources. Cover any large windows with thick drapery or shades. Covering windows can significantly reduce heat loss in the winter, and keeping out bright sunlight can help to keep your apartment cool in the summer.
Make it Literally Green
Whether you have a balcony, a patio or simply a sunny window, take advantage of any opportunity you may have to grow plants in your apartment. Greenery in your home can help to clean the air, reducing the need for electric air cleaning devices. Learn about container gardening and put in a balcony garden to grow your favorite vegetables. With the use of intensive planting, trellises and hanging planters, you can create a green oasis that will feed you for months.
Today’s Maintenance Monday blog comes from SF Gate.