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5 Tips To Create a Green Home: From Backyard Gardens to Farmer’s Markets

House choice on white background. Isolated 3D imageWhen you’re trying to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, there are many things you can do, from eating organic to bicycling to work.  Even in your home, it’s possible to introduce many small changes so that you’re helping the environment.  If you’re wondering how to create a green home for yourself, consider the following options:

  1. Live Close to Work.  A lot of environmental pollution is caused by travelling.  But if you live close to work, you can bike or even walk to your office, thus saving a lot of fuel.  Additionally, you’ll get a bit of exercise which will help you to stay healthier in the long run.  Of course, it may not always be possible to live very close to work but this is just something you can consider when looking at apartments for rent.
  2. Plant a Garden.  Plants are a source of fresh oxygen for the environment.  This is why just sitting in a garden can make you feel rejuvenated.  If you live in an apartment building, you might still have access to a backyard where you can plant some flower beds or grow vegetables.  If you don’t have access to a backyard, consider those pots that you can place right outside your window.  They’ll be pretty to look at from the outside as well as the inside.
  3. Buy Some Flowers.  Granted, having flowers in your home isn’t actually going to benefit the environment.  However, they will serve as a reminder of all the beautiful gifts nature has given us and can spur you on to doing more to save the environment.
  4. Join a Neighborhood Group.  If you do a bit of research on the internet, you’ll probably find that there are groups in your neighborhood which are doing something to save the environment.  It’s great to join one of these because you’ll get to meet like-minded people and help the environment at the same time.  Plus, you know that you’re more likely to show up at events or meetings because people will be counting on you.
  5. Farmer’s Markets.  Find out if there are any farmer’s markets in your neighborhood.  Not only will you be able to buy fresh produce, you’ll also be encouraging local farmers in the process.  Plus, farmer’s markets are a great way to spend an idle morning, chug down some apple juice or take your kids to hear a local band.

Contact us for more ways to make your new apartment a green home.

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4 Tips To Make Friends When You Move Into a New Apartment Community

iStock_000014814198XSmallSometimes, it can feel isolating to move into a new apartment community, even if you’re not moving very far.  You grow used to seeing the same places and the same people everyday.  Even if you don’t talk to them a lot, you notice them at the bus stop and in your apartment building.  You might even find yourself missing that noisy neighbor that you couldn’t wait to get away from.  So what are you supposed to do?

  1. Introduce yourself.  Many people don’t even know their neighbors anymore.  This isn’t really healthy because you both live in the same apartment building and you might need to ask each other’s help some day.  So why don’t you introduce yourself once you’ve moved in?  No need to do it the very same day.  Take your time getting settled in and then knock on their door.  Don’t put it off too long or you might start feeling awkward about doing it.
  2. Chit chat.  Try and be welcoming to people who greet you in the passageways or make small talk.  If there’s a doorman in your apartment building, say good morning or good evening to him when you see him.  Doormen can be a great font of information about everyone who lives in the building, in case you’re wondering how to approach them.
  3. Explore what’s nearby.  Get yourself acquainted with the neighborhood laundromat, hair salon, restaurants etc.  Not only will you get to know the people who run them, you might also meet other people there.  If you have a particular interest, like reading, don’t forget to take a trip to the local bookstore and see what events they’re holding there.  This will help you meet like-minded people.
  4. Look on the internet.  If you’re not quite ready to start pounding the pavement, at least look up what’s in your neighborhood by going on the internet.  Many neighborhoods will have at least one website which lists everything you might need, from gyms to bars.  If a place looks interesting, you can look for it the next time you step out.

These are just a few ways in which you can get to meet new people and familiarize yourself with a new apartment building.  Contact us for more tips on finding an apartment and getting settled in.


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Green Living Tips: Decorating an Apartment

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Eco-Friendly Home Decorating Tips for Apartment Dwellers

If you are trying to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, but are an apartment dweller, you may feel that you don’t have as many options to make sustainable choices as those living in houses. That isn’t the case, however. Apartments can still allow for green living. Whether you are in an old or new building, you can decorate your apartment in an eco-friendly manner by choosing earth-friendly items and materials in your decor.

Here are a few tips.

Area Rugs – one of the easiest ways to give your apartment a personal touch is an area rug. Though you will find some at big retailers, such as Walmart, it may be worth your while to do a little hunting and go to a carpet store. An area rug has an additional benefit for apartment dwellers; it will protect the apartment’s carpet from stains, burns and wear. Green Tips: Look for natural fibers like wool, organic cotton, jute, seagrass or sisal. Check for non-toxic backing and underlay pads. And check the chemicals used to treat the rug. Even rugs made of natural fibers can have stains or treatments made from toxic materials.

Window Dressings – Many apartments have standard blinds that are installed in the apartment, and often people just leave those as is. Adding drapes and/or curtains can have a drastic effect on your apartment and how it looks. Green Tip: If you are interested in sustainability, look to thrift stores for curtains. Many used-goods stores have a vast and inexpensive collection of draperies, and you may find quite a few that are either new or like new for a fraction of the cost of new ones.

Candles – Properly placed candles can help cut down on your lighting costs. For instance, if you like to keep a stove light on in your kitchen for background lighting while you are in the living room, you’re using electricity to light an unoccupied room. Candlelight works just fine for accent or background lighting. Candles can not only keep your apartment smelling nice, but can help cut down on your electric bills. Placing a candle near a mirror or reflective surface will increase the light from the candle. You’ll of course want to use sturdy candleholders, and be careful not to let the candles burn too low. Green Tip: Soy candles are environmentally friendly, and often burn more slowly than regular candles.

Bamboo – Bamboo bath mats are sustainable, eco-friendly, and attractive. Selecting bamboo for bath accessories and accent pieces like shelving and wastebaskets will give your bathroom a clean, earth-friendly appeal.

Green living is a matter of choice, and you can make that choice regardless of where you live.

Are you looking for a green apartment? Wood Partners may have the home you are looking for.

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Green Living Tips: Going Zero-Waste in your Apartment

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The key to green living is efficiency – making the most out of the least. It’s a philosophy about reducing what you need and wasting as little as possible, whether it’s energy waste, water waste, or municipal solid waste. All three have a huge impact on our carbon footprint, but municipal solid waste, that is, what you throw out in the trash, tends to be overlooked. This leads to overpacked landfills, a major source of groundwater pollution, heavy metal poisoning, among other issues.

For the newcomer, this can seem like a daunting task. Don’t get discouraged, though – it’s actually much easier than it seems. The key is taking small, effective steps. With that, you can work your way toward a fully sustainable lifestyle in no time. You can’t expect to go zero waste overnight, but here are some great tips on how to get started.

Pay Attention to Recycling: If you don’t already recycle cans and bottles, now’s a great time to start. In fact, the most recycled material in America are tin cans (at 63%), while the least recycled are plastic bottles (at 23%).

Aside from making sure you recycle what you can, though, keep in mind that most plastics, even those marked with plastics recycling codes, cannot be recycled, or at the least, can’t be recycled in most recycling centers. This is especially true of plastic wrapping, which can easily gum up machines. With that in mind…

Avoid Disposable Products and Excess Packaging:Most disposable products – especially those you’ll find in a bathroom or kitchen (paper towels, toothbrushes, etc), end up creating a ton of waste – both from the product itself and from the excessive plastic packaging that generally comes with it.

Try to stick with paper packaging where possible, and see which stores allow you to use your own containers for things like bulk dry food or liquid soaps. Don’t forget to bring your own reusable shopping bags either.

Compost: You cut down on a lot of waste by avoiding things like plastics as much as possible, but food waste isn’t something you can cut down on. Composting proves a special challenge to apartment dwellers, though, since you have less room to work with. This is where you have to get a little creative. The easiest way to compost indoors, or on a balcony is vermicomposting – using worms to help break down organic matter. A vermicomposting unit generally doesn’t cost any more than your conventional composting tumbler, and produces a higher quality compost with less effort. The only real issue you’ll have is who you’re going to share all your compost with. And the worms, of course, if you aren’t into that kind of thing.

Wood Partners has been dedicated to building sustainable apartment communities for over 15 years. With over 75 apartments and condos across the country, and even more to come, we are wherever you are. Contact us today to find a sustainable home to fit your sustainable lifestyle.