written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 11/16/2010
Living green in an apartment does have some limits but with a green desire and help from your landlord there are steps you can take to get greener. Here we are going to take a look at five simple ways to help you take advantage of living green in an apartment.
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Living Green in a Rental
Going green in an apartment can be a bit of a challenge. Today's landlords are more Eco-conscious than they ever have been before but in general many people are living in older buildings that are not equipped with such items as EnergyStar appliances.Here we are going to go over five simple ways that you can get started on your green journey while living in an apartment.
Replace all standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. They are more expensive than regular light bulbs but in the long run will save both you and the local power grid a lot of money and energy. Learn more about CFL's in Green Light: Switch to CFL's.
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Step Two- Save Power
Control your Vampire power usage. Vampire power is when your electronics and appliances still draw power when plugged in even after you have turned the main power off. For example, your cell phone charger when left plugged in still draws power from the grid when you are not charging your phone. So, take a quick run through of your apartment and take note of all the devices that you can not just turn off but unplug as well.
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Step Three- Save on Water Usage
Conserve on your water usage. Living in an apartment can waste a lot of water and that is mainly due to leakage. Keep an eye out for dripping faucets, running toilets and under the sink leaks and let your landlord know about them. Also, if you have a dishwasher, use it but only run it when you have a full load. Washing dishes by hand wastes more water. The same goes for doing your laundry, only run a load if you have enough for a full load. In the bathroom, turn your faucet off while brushing your teeth and only turn it on when needed. Learn more about water conservation in Green Apartment: Water Usage.
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Step Four- Save on Heat
Keep your thermostat at a constant setting. Conserve on energy by setting your heating and cooling at a regular temperature and leave it there. Many people leave the setting at 72 all year round and doing so saves both the power draw on the local grid and your electrical bill.
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Step Five- Save on Trash
Localize your trash. Try keeping only one trash bin in the apartment and place it by the front door. Keep your recycling bins in the same area, so that it's simple to sort through every time you have trash. By having the trash as close to the front door as possible, it will help to remind you that the trash needs to be taken out and that you have recycling to take out as well. Having one trash bin will also make you more aware of the trash that you are producing.