When it comes to apartment renting, many people feel they need to abandon their environmentally friendly lifestyles. After all, unless everything is cleared with the property manager and you are willing to flip the bill, items such as geothermal heating and xeriscaping are simply not an option. Many different things can be done that will allow you to enjoy the benefits of an apartment rental as well as an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Reduce Energy And Water Consumption
Apartment renting doesn't always allow for things such as geothermal heat or solar power, but that doesn't mean you can't save energy and water. Basic things such as turning lights off when you are using them and switching over to energy efficient light bulbs are just a start. Unplugging anything that isn't in use, even if it has a ‘standby’ mode can save hundreds on your energy bill every year. Depending on how the apartment rental is set up and where you live, you may also be able to phone the power company to switch over to renewable energy sources.
Water is another easy way to go green while apartment renting. Water conserving fixtures and items such as flow controls for the shower are simple to add in. If your landlord isn't interested in installing them in your apartment rental, you can switch back the originals quickly and easily when you move. Cutting meat from your diet is also effective. In fact, for every quarter pound of beef you leave on the store shelf, you are saving the 4,500 gallons of water that it takes to get it from the cow to your plate. Turning off the water when you aren't using it, using leftover water for plants, taking fast showers instead of baths, and only running washing machines and dishwashers with full loads also helps significantly.
Food is one of the most common products tossed out in homes across the country. Freeze, consume, or reuse leftovers to make additional meals until they are completely gone. For anything that can't be saved, with the exception of meat and dairy, get an indoor, compact composting system. Take this one step further, and add recycling bins to your space. You can even work with other residents in the building to create group recycling, composting, and donating. Finally, stop the junk mail from filling your mail and opt for online billing.
Since most people learn by example, take that as a challenge to show them just how easily it can be done when apartment renting. Dry clothes on your balcony, exchange chemical cleaners for homemade mixtures, and make use of public transportation. Add potted plants inside and outside the apartment rental by selecting plants that will thrive in these conditions. You can even encourage the rest of the building to do the same. Start a ride share program, and take time to show others in the building how you have made small changes to your lifestyle to become more environmentally friendly.
If you are considering delving into the world of apartment renting or already have one and think it is impossible to live an eco-friendly life, don't despair. Living green in an apartment rental isn't as difficult as you think. You might even get more people into the green lifestyle and help the environment more than if you were in a house.
About the Author: Christine O'Kelly is an author for leading apartment renting company Beal Property, LLC in Chicago . Beal Properties is a property management company featuring vintage apartment rental options along the waterfront of Chicago's Lake Michigan.