Tips on Going Green, Apartment-Style
Don’t use the fact that you live in an apartment as an excuse not to go green. You can still care about the environment and make good choices that help the planet. Follow the easy steps below to make a big impact.
Choose a Smart Apartment
You really can vote with your money on this one. Choose to rent from people who care about the environment. Property managers should be able to answer your questions about what the apartment complex has had done to make it more efficient. You can see if the office is using wise practices like recycling and energy conservation.
Technology has made it even easier for the owners and operators of multifamily dwellings, like apartment complexes and multiplexes, to conserve resources. One device, known as a submeter, can be installed in each unit. Then, the submeters are monitored. The data gathered allows both the owner and operator and the resident a wealth of information.
The resident benefits by only paying for water that is actually used in their unit; most residents are very happy with this. The submeters reward residents for conserving water; in fact, residents who have submeters tend to use 20-30% less water than those who don’t have submeters.
Complex owners and operators can see where the water is being used the most. They can also see if there is something unusual that could be a leak. Leaks can be stopped before they damage the apartment. Water is no longer wasted by dripping faucets, leaky flappers on toilets or dripping hot water heaters. Owners save money; renters save money. Water is conserved.
Choose Smart Practices
Once you’ve chosen your apartment and settled in, there are more things you can do to “green” your space. You can start with all those moving boxes. When you move, you need good boxes. You can sometimes pick them up for free, or for a greatly reduced price, when you purchase them online on a classified site, like craigslist. After you are done unpacking, put them back on craigslist. Let someone else score cheap, or even free, boxes and keep them out of the landfill.
Replace those dim bulbs. When you install compact fluorescent bulbs where incandescent bulbs had been used, you use about 66% less energy. Those CF bulbs last up to 10 times longer than the incandescent kinds; that means you won’t have to change the bulb so often.
How much electricity do you think you use when your electronics are in standby mode? It varies from device to device, but they are not off. They are using energy the entire time. The average household wastes over 1,000 kilowatts of electricity on standby mode every year. That amount of power would run the average house for over two months. To conserve the most power, and save the most money, your best bet is to unplug anything you aren’t currently using.