I’m working on an article for that right now! Apartments are great places to organize clothing and furniture swaps. Hopefully I’ll have a full list up for you soon.
Awesome, looking forward to your article!
You could start by furnishing the apartment with second or recylced furniture if it isn’t already furnished. If you are allowed to paint and decide to do so, use low VOC paints and products. You can also use LED or CFL lighting rather than incandescent bulbs. Use your location in the building to help with heating and cooling (which way do your windows face, can you open them for cross air, can you close the blinds to keep heat in), and you can also use blankets and clothing for warmth rather than turning up the heat and try consuming cool foods and beverages when it’s very warm instead of using air conditiong. If you have any outdoor space like a balcony, you can grow some container vegetables and herbs. Depending on your location and if you have space to store a bike, you can use it to go to work and shopping as well. There is much more, and I’m sure other posters will have some great ideas as well!
Think about how you clean your place. For example, you might set up recycling areas that are convenient and easy to use. You can also use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies (like Seventh Generation) and you can compost scraps in your kitchen. Even if you don’t have a garden or lawn, you may be able to find someone in the area who can use your compost. (Check out the link below for more on composting.) Also, when buying for your apartment, think about how long you plan to live there and make purchases according. Moving in and out of an apartment can cause a lot of waste without some forethought.
Some of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption and waste are to run the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer sparingly. Wait until they are completely full before starting. Depending on the climate you live in, try air drying your clothes instead of using a dryer. Use cold water to wash your clothes. Another easy thing that many people forget to do is to unplug appliances when you are done using them. Try using biodegrable containers.
A great way to green any living space is to always have everything electronic on a power strip. When you leave the house for a vacation, long weekend, or even just for the day simply turn off the power strips. Things like a TV, computer, DVD player, even external speaker systems use electricity although they are technically turned off. By having them on a power strip it is guaranteed that there isn’t any energy wasted and you don’t have to run around unplugging everything. In the summer keep doors open and use ceiling fans on a low setting to increase ventilation. In the winter close doors when not in the apartment to decrease heating costs. When not in the apartment adjust the heat or air conditioning accordingly to save energy. All these actions will decrease your use of energy and even save you money. It’s amazing how much energy is used when you aren’t in the living space.
Don’t use eletricity. At all. Light candles. Wash dishes by hand. Eat foods that don’t require cooking. Sell your TV. In fact, stop reading this. Turn off your computer now. I mean it.
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