Many of the most effective ideas for sustainable living are tailored to the needs and wants of homeowners. For this reason, apartment dwellers often miss important opportunities to reduce their own negative effect on their community and the environment. With just a little bit of creativity and effort, many of best sustainable living ideas can be adapted for renters who choose to live in a smaller space.
Food waste is a serious issue for all communities, large and small. It is estimated that 40% of the food that is brought into a home is thrown in the trash. Compost bins are a popular solution to this problem, but are not a viable option for apartment dwellers. Instead, offer your coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable scraps, and stale bread to a community garden for their compost pile or make friends with a homeowner who keeps urban chickens. In some cases, you may even be able to trade your food scraps for surplus eggs.
A balcony or sunny window that gets as few as 6 hours of sunlight per day is an ideal environment for small containers of fresh lettuce, kale, and herbs. Growing even a fraction of your fresh produce at home saves money. It also decreases food waste because you harvest only according to your immediate needs.
Every home, no matter its size, benefits from green cleaning. White vinegar kills germs on counter tops and leaves behind no harmful residue. Baking soda and vinegar chased with boiling water unclogs drains without the use of chemicals. Companies like Seventh Generation make detergents that aren’t harmful to the environment and paper products that are recycled and recyclable.
Reduce your energy use by unplugging appliances when they aren’t in use and installing compact fluorescent bulbs. CFL’s use just one third of the power of traditional light bulbs and last seven to fifteen times longer.
One of the most effective things you can do to reduce your own negative effect on the environment is to choose to rent from a company that understands and respects your desire for sustainable living.
Wood Partners is a leader in green development. All Wood Partners new multi-family developments meet Federal ENERGY STAR standards when possible. For more information about Wood Partners green apartments, please contact us.