Going Green in your Apartment
You do not have to live in a house to incorporate green home ideas into your space. In fact, apartment living is one of the best ways to go green, because the smaller space typically uses less energy than a house would. Try some of the tips below to make going green in your apartment an easy transition.
Energy Saving Appliances
If you have control over the major appliances in your apartment, opt for energy saving models. The energy-star rating tag on new appliances shows how much electricity it normally uses over the course of a year. Choose models that do not use a lot of electricity for the maximum in savings. If large appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators are out of your control, you can still buy energy saving small appliances that use less electricity. Look for models that have an automatic shut-off and energy saving capabilities. Another easy idea is simply to unplug your appliances after use. The coffee pot may not seem like a big energy drainer, but over time it can use a significant amount of electricity. Unplugging it after use will cut down on the excess energy use.
Ideally, a green apartment will make the best use of any and all available natural lighting. Unfortunately, most apartments receive light from only one direction during the day, as the number of windows is limited. Take advantage of whatever light is available and add small plants or flowers to the space to bring the outdoors inside. Energy saving bulbs are another great way to light an apartment if you are trying to go green. Once only available in corkscrew shapes, the new energy saving bulbs come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. They help cut energy consumption in an apartment almost immediately.
A great way to create a green apartment is to use recycled or re-purposed furniture and accessories to fill it. Shop local thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales for inexpensive decor that will brighten up the space. Do not be afraid to paint furniture either. Grandma's old dresser will take on new life when sanded and painted a new color. The peeling coffee table found at the thrift store, when sanded and painted, can become a brilliant focal point in the living room. Sets of mismatched, but coordinating china patterns can usually be found at second-hand stores for a fraction of the cost of new dinnerware, plus they will make an excellent conversation piece at a dinner party. Turn the old wooden bucket into a magazine rack and try to look at things in a new light. Recycling or re-purposing items is the easiest and least expensive way to go green in an apartment.
Going green is more about a lifestyle choice than a fad. It is about consuming less and living clutter free. Even the three simple steps above, if done by all apartment dwellers, can make a huge impact in the movement to conserve resources for future generations.