Sure, putting in solar panels sounds great, but so does getting your deposit back when your lease is up. You don’t have to sacrifice environmental living just because you’re in an apartment, though. Here are some tips and tricks to live green in your leased space and still get your money back when your lease is up.
Change Out Your Lights
If you’re not already using compact florescent blubs or LEDs, that’s the easiest place to start. Incandescent light bulbs are little energy vacuums, and you’ll get about 2,000 hours out of one. Fluorescent bulbs, on the other hand, operate with little energy since they’re able to concentrate more of the energy intake into producing light rather than heat. With these guys, you’ll not only be using less energy, you’ll get a massively extended lifespan out of the product ranging from 6,000 to 35,000 hours. LEDs are even better. Switching out your bulbs is a great trick to keep your energy consumption down and to help reduce household waste.
Check Your Temperatures On Everything
Turning your thermostat down by two degrees in the winter and up by two degrees in the summer can save you a whole truckload of carbon dioxide annually, but your thermostat isn’t the only temperature you should be checking. Check your fridge and freezer to make sure you’re not over-cooling. Fridges work just fine at 37 degrees fahrenheit, while the freezer is pretty comfortable around -3 degrees. Keep your water heater in the 120 to 140 degree range. If any of these are working harder than they need to, go ahead and set them back to an efficient but not wasteful temperature.
You may not have a choice when it comes to your insulation or power source, but when it comes to what you want to put in your apartment, you’re in control. Using sustainable materials such as teak, sustainable bamboo, and 100% organic wool and cotton is a great way to bring some environmental friendliness into the home, while shopping at locally owned boutiques or second-hand stores is a great way to get some unique pieces that didn’t harm the planet during production.
Turn It Off
Even if everything you have plugged in right now is off, including your TV, your hair dryer, your computer, and your cable box, most of that stuff continues to pull energy. Conserve energy by unplugging these little power vampires when they’re not in use, or by plugging them into a surge protector and flipping the switch off when you’re not around. Not only will this save some energy, it might save you a little money in the process, too.
Skip The Apartment
If eco-consciousness is so ingrained in you that you can’t stand to live in that wasteful little box anymore, opt for an alternative. Look for green living communities in your area, or look into building your own cost-effective, environmentally friendly tiny house. It might seem like a bit of cash down at first, but they can actually be a lot more cost-effective in the long run.