While not using plastic grocery bags and switching to paper straws may do some good, many people are looking for more ways to make their individual apartments green. Whether you live in an expensive apartment in Houston, Texas where prices have surpassed the $1,200 mark; or a small studio apartment in Detroit, Michigan for a very low price — saving money by saving energy is always a good idea.
Following are some things that you can do to make a change:
Use Gray Water
The site greywateraction.org tells us that gray water is gently used water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. It is not water that has come into contact with feces, either from the toilet or from washing diapers.” OK, but what can you do with it? Water your garden with it. Your plants will like gray water, and when you are paying a per gallon charge for clean water, using gray water for outside irrigation is a great idea.
Heat and A/C cost money especially if you have an older and more inefficient HVAC system. The obvious way to go greener is to replace your old furnace, A/C and/or heat pump, but if you live in an apartment, that choice is going to be up to your landlord, and he or she may not want to spend the money because you may be the one that pays the utility bill!
But did you know that every heating or cooling degree can raise your utility bill by three percent? That means if you turn your thermostat up three degrees in the summer, you could save nine percent on your electric bill. In that case, a $150 electric bill would decrease to $135.50.
Then, convince your landlord to install a smart thermostat that will not only keep your interior temperature at pre-set values but can also anticipate when you are leaving for work, when you are returning and set the temperature accordingly. There is no sense keeping your apartment at a comfortable 73 degrees when you are not there.
You already know that LED lights are a huge power saver, and that they don’t throw nearly as much heat as incandescent bulbs.
Add a smart LED app to the mix, and you can be assured that you will never leave all of the lights on again if you have to rush out of your apartment to get to work on time.
Think about that bottle of water. Is it really worth it to go to the store, pick up a case of water, put it in your car, drive home, take it out of your car, unpack it, throw away the plastic overwrap, recycle the box bottom, put the bottle in the refrigerator, use electricity to keep it cold, open the fridge and take 30 seconds to drink the entire contents? Whew—that’s a lot of time and effort to take a drink. Consider installing a tap water filter that will give you great drinking water without any of the aforementioned hassle. Furthermore, in checking out the water bottle labels that reveal the water’s source, you’ll sometimes find some that contain city purified tap water—the same water that would come out of your faucet anyway!
Going apartment green is a major commitment and can be a challenge if you have to convince others—like your landlord—to get onboard. There’s nothing wrong with taking small steps, though, and every positive action does help the planet.
And if you’re moving in the near future, another great way to save a few bucks is to find a great moving and storage company. Check out your options here.