You have probably heard a hundred suggestions for greening your life and wonder…what in the world do they mean by “green”. Really it means that you’re making an effort to lower your personal negative impact on the environment. Now for many homes it’s pretty easy, but what about apartment living? How can you green your apartment out?
There are a variety of ways you can do this. Here are just ten that will not only end in you greening your life, also known as lowing your carbon footprint, but will also save you money at the same time!
1. You work, right? We would hope so! Green tip number one is- green your lunch! You can do this by buying a reusable lunch bag. Some even come with a container for sandwiches or anything else that you wish to bring. These range anywhere from 10 to 20 bucks…a onetime purchase, where if you packed a lunch with a paper bag, perhaps a couple of sandwich Ziploc type bags to keep your food fresh you have to continue to buy these products to use…pretty good savings over time if you eliminate them. The bag practically pays for itself! In fact if you switched from buying lunches at fast food establishments to brining your lunch to the office, the reusable bag would pay for itself in a matter of weeks!
2. If you happen to have a washer in your apartment, wash your cloths in cold water instead of hot. This will actually save you money if your water heater is attached to your electric bill.
3. As your lights blink out, invest in energy saver bulbs…the curly ones you hear about all the time. This lessens the energy that you’re using, making it better for the environment. This is another change that will end up saving you money in the long run. True they are a bit more expensive, but the savings on your electric bill coupled with the fact that these bulbs last much longer than regular incandescent bulbs, they will actually pay for themselves and more over their lifetime.
4. Adjust your thermostat down 2 degrees in the winter and up two degrees in the summer will actually save you energy usage and lower you’re heating and cooling bill over the course of the year.
5. If you’re allowed too, install a low flow shower head. This will decrease your water usage and if you have a tank style water heater, It will decrease the amount of work it has to do to keep up with your showers, thus saving energy, and lowering your bill a bit if your hot water isn’t included. Money saved
6. Instead of just taking a plastic bag at the store and throwing it away when you get back, grab yourself a reusable bag! Most places charge anywhere from $.50 to $2.00 for them. They hold twice as much as a regular plastic bag. Plastic bags cost any given company a lot of money, which translates into higher prices for you at the checkout. Plus plastic has a heavy environmental impact. Eliminating them out of your shopping experience most definitely will help the environment in the long run, and if you have wee ones, less of a chance of them getting into the bags and choking on them is also eliminated.
7. Recycle as much as you can. There may not necessarily have a monitory benefit but recycling is something that you can to whether you live in an apartment or a home…and it’s FREE! This will save you 2000 pounds of carbon emissions if you just recycle 10% of your waste each year. More on carbon below.
8. Drive less. If you’re in an area where things are close by, places that you need to go or want to go, why not walk? It will save you fuel which translates to less expensive trips to the pump, save you from having to find your car in the parking lot…and it’s even healthier for you! And you will save about 500 pounds of carbon emissions from you.
9. Are you using it? No? then unplug it! Even if you have your computer, TV or other electronic off, it’s still drawing energy, wasting it and hiking your bill up further then it needs to be. Handy tip is to keep things on a power strip and simply turn the strip off and unplug it when you’re done with what you’re using. This goes for phone, iPod and mp3 chargers as well.
10. Choose household products for cleaning that are designed to have less of an impact on the environment. There are a number of them out there. Greenworks, Natures Choice, and Method are just a few currently available on the market.
It’s not hard to green your life. In fact is much easier then you think.
Interesting fact: every year each human in the US has an output of 13,227.6 pounds of carbon, the chief culprit of the global warming issue. By taking some of these suggestions you can offset that number and actually make it lower. Tips 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 alone will reduce your carbon emission by 3650 pounds a year. That drops it below the 10,000 mark!
Good Idea: Watch “An Inconvenient truth”. It gives a candid factual report on the issue, its cause, and the effects its having on our environment and what it can mean for our future, and for our children’s future.