When it comes to living sustainably, renting an apartment can present unique challenges. Limited space, shared amenities and restrictions on making permanent changes can make it difficult to implement eco-friendly habits. However, it's not impossible, and there are plenty of things that renters can do to reduce their environmental footprint
In this article, we'll explore some of the strategies that renters can use to live more sustainably. From reducing energy usage to growing an indoor garden, there are plenty of ways to make a positive impact on the environment while renting an apartment. Let's dive in!
Reducing waste is a critical component of sustainable living which can be done easier than you may think in an apartment. One of the best ways to reduce waste is to avoid packaged foods and items with unnecessary wrapping and labelling. Buying fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably from a local farmer’s market, is also an excellent way to avoid excessive packaging. When buying produce, avoid using thin plastic bags, which often end up in landfills or oceans. Instead, bring your own reusable bags or containers to the store to reduce plastic waste.
Additionally, composting is another great way to reduce waste. Instead of throwing food scraps and other perishables in the trash, keep a small compost bin in your apartment and empty it at your Avenue Living Communities’ community garden composting bin.
Plant an Indoor Garden
Another great option for making your life a little greener is to try indoor gardening, especially if you don’t have access to a community garden. This is an excellent way to bring greenery into your apartment and enjoy fresh herbs and vegetables to incorporate into your meals. Plants also help purify the air, making your apartment a healthier place to live. Herbs such as basil and cilantro; vegetables, including tomatoes and chives, can all be grown in a container garden inside your apartment.
Cut Energy Usage
Energy conservation is a crucial part of sustainable living. For example, turning off lights when leaving a room and unplugging devices when not in use can significantly reduce energy usage. Did you know that even if your TV and toaster are turned off, they’ll continue drawing power? The same is true of chargers left plugged into outlets.
We also suggest investing in a solar-powered charger for your phone or tablet, as it can help reduce your carbon footprint even further. While these extra steps may feel excessive at first, they’ll save you money on your electric bill and help the environment.
Rethink Your Cleaning Products
Traditional cleaning products often contain several harmful chemicals that can be detrimental to both the environment and human health. By choosing eco-friendly cleaning products like baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice, you can clean your apartment without damaging the environment or your well-being. These natural cleaners are often just as effective as traditional cleaners and are typically less expensive.
Water is a precious resource that can rack up your bills, so it's essential to use it wisely. Switching out a high-efficiency showerhead, washing your dishes with the same water more than once and taking baths rather than showers are just some of the many ways you can significantly reduce water consumption. And, if you're a bottled water drinker, consider a Brita water filter or a water cooler. This way, you can enjoy clean drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
By being aware of your water consumption, you can help save this precious resource and lessen the burden on your wallet!
Rethink and Reuse Your Furniture
Buying durable and sustainable furniture is a key component of sustainable living. Choosing furniture made from renewable materials or recycled products is an excellent way to reduce your environmental impact.
When shopping for furniture, resist the urge to buy trendy pieces that may only be desired for a season or two. Instead, look for classic, timeless designs. If you need to dispose of furniture, try to sell or donate to someone looking to make use of the items instead of throwing them away.
Which leads us to our next point - thrifting! Thrifting home décor and furniture is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, and it will also transform your living area into a more unique space. We suggest looking through your local thrift stores for furniture or décor before buying it new, because sometimes you can find exactly what you are after for a fraction of the price.
Consider The Apartment’s Location
Choosing an apartment close to the places you'll frequently visit, like your office or your gym, can help improve your eco-friendly ways. If possible, opt for an apartment within walking or biking distance of your favourite destinations. If walking or biking isn't an option, consider using public transportation to get around town. Taking the bus or train is often less expensive and more eco-friendly than driving a car.
By following these tips, you can create a sustainable living space in your apartment and reduce your environmental impact. Remember that small changes can make a big difference in the long run, so start making a plan today!