6 Tips to Create a More Eco-Friendly Apartment
An eco-friendly apartment is a healthier place to eat, sleep and relax in. It’s not difficult to create a healthy home, and here are a few ideas to get you started. And hey, you might even learn that eco-friendly places can help you afford a nicer place in the long-run.
Check out some tips here below.
Plants, Plants and More Plants
Investing in green plants is a simple way to help your apartment become eco-friendly, whether you live in an apartment in Chicago's Wicker Park or a penthouse in New York City. Green plants drastically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other toxic gases that exist in your home. NASA has been studying the ability of green plants to improve air quality for over 20 years. Two easy to grow plants for beginners are aloe vera, which removes formaldehyde from the air and has the added benefit as a soothing topical ointment for sunburn, and the dwarf date palm, which removes xylene from the air.
Switch to Compostable
In the last ten years, it has become much easier to make the switch to compostable items. Scrub brushes for dishes, toothbrushes, disposable dinnerware and flatware, and bags for shopping are all readily available from specialty retailers to big box stores. Look for things that are made from bamboo--a highly sustainable and compostable material. And don’t forget to compost cooking waste. Small compost containers are available for your countertop and when filled simply add the contents to your garden composter.
According to property management and rental experts at Goodjuju, “going to the grocery store is a good place to begin your zero-waste lifestyle. Make sure to take re-usable totes with you to carry your groceries home and you won’t have to dispose of excess paper or plastic.”
What do you do with empty glass sauce jars? Don’t toss them into the trash; instead wash and dry them and you’ll have reusable containers for smoothies or salad dressings, for example. Smaller re-used jars make great overnight oatmeal containers.
Use Less Energy
Sometimes it may seem that one apartment’s energy use won’t make a difference, but it does. If your apartment is freezing cold in the winter, try adding thermal drapes over your windows. Thermal drapes not only help keep cold air out; they help with noise pollution as well. Another benefit you gain with thermal drapes is a darker room at night and that promotes better sleep.
Remember to turn the thermostat down when you are not home, or in the summer turn it up. Unplug devices and power cords when not in use; zombies may not exist, but zombie power use is a real thing. Some electronic equipment can consume almost as much energy in standby mode as when the devices are running. And don’t forget to turn lights out in rooms as you leave.
Switch Out Your Bath and Beauty Products
Don’t throw your stuff out in an effort to become eco-friendly but when the time comes to replace items like razors, consider re-usable rather than disposable. Bath linens are available in organic cotton or bamboo--both sustainable crops--and bamboo towels are superabsorbent. Try switching to products, like make-up and soaps, that are natural in origin. They will be better for your skin and better for the environment.
Furniture and Fibers
If you are decorating the first apartment or re-doing your current place, consider shopping for furniture at secondhand shops. Well-made furniture can last years, be stylish with minimal updates to fabrics, and keep landfills less full. If you’re in the market for new rugs or drapes, look for natural fibers as they won’t emit chemicals into your apartment’s air.
Becoming eco-friendly is a process that will take some planning, thought and time, but in the end, it will be worth the effort to know you have an apartment that is healthy to live in.