For the past several years there’s been more and more effort to become eco-friendlier and reduce our personal carbon footprint. Not only is this good for the environment, by cutting down on energy and water usage you can drastically cut down on your monthly utility bills. It’s a win/win for you and the earth!
Step 1: Keep Track of Your Current Usage
This doesn’t mean write down every minute you have each lightbulb on, just that you should be more aware of how much electricity and water you use on a daily basis. What is absolutely necessary, and where are there areas you could do a little better? By simply being more conscious about your daily usage you’ll automatically start saving without even thinking about it.
Step 2: Start with Your Appliances
Most of the time your appliances are built to save you time and money, but to do so you need to use them efficiently. For example, refrigerators and freezers work best when they’re full because the cold items inside will help keep everything cold and take some of the work off of the motor. If you live alone or have a hard time keeping the fridge and freezer stocked you can put bags of ice or jugs of water in the back to help out. You should also clean the coils and fan at the back of your fridge every few months so the dust doesn’t accumulate too much and hinder the motor. Your washer and dryer can also easily waste water an electricity. By using cold water to wash, cleaning the lint trap before each load, and only washing and drying full loads, you can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your usage.
Step 3: Use What You Have
This step may require small purchases, but most of the time you already have what you need to make your apartment more eco-friendly. For example, electronics like TVs, entertainment systems, and gaming consuls are known as “vampire” devices because they stay in standby mode when you turn them off and suck power even if you’re not using them. By plugging such devices into a power strip you can turn the power strip off when not in use to ensure they’re not using any electricity whatsoever. Another simple way you can save a lot of energy is by programming your thermostat to turn off while you’re at work all day so you’re not wasting money by heating or cooling an empty apartment.
Step 4: Make Personal Changes
Once you’re in the habit of paying more attention to your water and electricity usage it’ll be easier to make some personal, habitual changes. These changes don’t have to be big or take a lot of effort, though. Do you tend to leave the lights on after you’ve left the room? Make a mental note to turn off all lights when you’re not using them. Do your showers tend to be a little long? Set a timer or make a 10-minute playlist to keep you on track to take shorter showers. Even small changes can add up in the long run.
Step 5: Benefit!
You don’t have to make your own soap or collect rainwater to be more environmentally conscious. If you want to go a little further and grow your own vegetables and herbs you can check out a previous blog to get started, but you can easily have all the comforts you’ve come to enjoy with apartment living, make a few small changes, and still have a smaller carbon footprint and even smaller monthly utility bill.