Whenever students move into a new student housing apartment or whenver young professionals change residences, there’s an opportunity to live more sustainably in their next apartment by making a few basic lifestyle changes.
Consider these suggestions for living sustainably in an apartment.
As a renter, there are many ways to “green” your living space without bumping heads with the landlord, living in the dark, or freezing your tail off.
Making changes to the lighting in a rental space is one of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint without actually changing the residence. Going green with lighting includes:
- Let the sunshine in! – Do not be afraid to open a window or loosen the blinds. Letting sunlight in prevents you from having to utilize any residential energy while providing a nice glow to the home.
- LEDs – These bulbs use as much as 75% less energy than their incandescent equivalents. Additionally, they can last several decades.10 times longer. Look for bulbs with an energy star signifying they meet high efficiency standards set by the EPA.
- Keep your bulbs clean – There’s no fancy regiment involved in cleaning your bulbs. Just dust and buff up the lense with a clean, dry cloth every now and then to maintain their clearness and brightness.
- Use only the lights you need – When I was a kid, I would turn on every light in the house if I was left home alone for even a minute. Chalk that waste up to ignorance and fear of the dark. It’s best to turn off a light if you intend to stay 15 minutes or longer out of the room. Oftentimes, you end up vacating the room for a longer period then you expected.
- Try this on your landlord: encourage the installation of LEDs in your unit, those of your neighbors, and in all the public areas around the property. Depending on your lease terms, if power is included in the rent, you may even be able to bargain for a monthly rent a reduction.
These are just a few ways for living sustainably in an apartment. Remember is not going to happen overnight, greening your home and lifestyle is an evolutionary process, piece by piece and with every progressive step, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and that of your room-mates.