You might think that homeowners have an easier time going eco-friendly. They can add large rooftop solar systems, install an expensive greywater collection apparatus, and take advantage of city-offered recycling services by just using the carts provided.
If you live in an apartment, however, don't worry, because you too have great opportunities to create an eco-friendly living space, so check out the following seven ways to get it done:
You can go solar without putting multiple panels on your roof. Go online and search for portable solar units and you'll find windowsill solar devices that will power an entire room's lighting plus a computer. Even just a small effort like this will reduce your carbon footprint, and if you can outfit a number of rooms with portable solar units, you'll also see utility bill savings.
Wikipedia tells us that "greywater (also spelled graywater, grey water and gray water) or sullage is all wastewater generated in households or office buildings from streams without fecal contamination, i.e. all streams except for the wastewater from toilets. Sources of greywater include, sinks, showers, baths, clothes washing machines or dish washers. As greywater contains fewer pathogens than domestic wastewater, it is generally safer to handle and easier to treat and reuse onsite for toilet flushing, landscape or crop irrigation, and other non-potable uses."
While a sophisticated greywater system can be great, it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to recycle wastewater, and you can do it manually. Just save the bathwater, for example, and use it to water your plants.
Use LEDs. Get rid of incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Then pair your LEDs with a smart app and you'll be able to control hues and intensity from your phone. You shouldn't need complex landlord permission just to change bulbs to LEDs, and you'll save electricity by doing it.
Remember, recycling is the basis of eco-friendliness, and even if you live in an apartment where all trash goes into the same dumpster, you should be able to locate recycling facilities in your community, and if you have to, you can do the job manually by carting your plastic and glass to the recycling facility.
If you have a little garden area that's yours to plant, that's great! Just make sure that you use native and locally grown plants. Native plants can better survive temperature and moisture extremes, and locally grown species already are familiar with your climate, so they will have a better chance of survival.
Get a smart thermostat if you can because the programming ease and the fact that you can control it from your mobile device will help save dollars and help the planet. If you have trouble getting permission to install a smart thermostat, just turn your present thermostat to 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter and you will be helping the planet.
If you're living in a new neighborhood in a new city, make sure to use your car as little as possible, and walk, ride a bike or take a scooter instead. As simple as that seems, the exercise benefits can be great, and of course, you will be saving energy. You can use local neighborhood guides from ABODO — they have local rent reports all across the country from huge cities like Atlanta to a ton of smaller neighborhoods in cities like Minneapolis and many others — to plan out your transportation routes using public methods.
Don't think that only homeowners can go green, and even if your landlord won't work with you, you can independently follow the steps above to achieve a higher level of eco-friendliness.