Updated: Jul 28, 2020
You can’t control every aspect of your apartment, but make your rental space a little more green with these eco friendly apartment tips!
I dream of building my super eco sustainable home someday, but the truth is the hubby and I don’t plan on building a house for years, if ever.
But I hated the idea that we don’t have the most energy efficient appliances, a garden and a compost, so I dug into how I could make my apartment more earth friendly.
1) Zero Waste Whenever Possible We are by no means perfect, but since the beginning of the year we have been trying to cut back on our wastes. This includes everything from food packaging to toothpaste.
Whenever possible we skip the bag, skip the plastic, skip the straw. All these little things add up to make a HUGE impact on landfills and wastes.
My biggest suggestion, is start small, it’s pretty overwhelming. We started with getting reusable produce bags and refillable beauty products (check out Plaine Products, which have subscription based refillable shampoo, conditioner and body wash!)
I then slowly started having zero waste grocery hauls and making my own cosmetics to avoid the plastic. Every little bit counts, even making an effort to only use a mug when getting coffee will help!
2) Replace Your Lightbulbs Replace all the lights in your house with energy efficient lightbulbs. These are a little investment upfront, but so worth it.
Not only will this help you have on energy costs it will keep hundreds of lightbulbs out of the landfill!
My suggestion: keep the regular bulbs safely stored somewhere, so that when you move out you can take your eco friendly bulbs with you and put the complex issued bulbs back in the lamps.
The average efficient lightbulb can last over 10 years, so you better believe I bring those babies with me when I move!
3) Green Your Laundry Routine There are couple ways you can switch up your laundry. For starters, only run the washer when it is full. This will save a lot of water over your life time because you will run fewer cycles.
Hang dry as much as possible. Not only is it better for your clothes, but its obviously more eco friendly.
We have a larger drying rack that we store in our closet and bring out to air dry almost all of our clothes. We put it in the living room while we are at work for the day or on the balcony if we are home.
This will also help your clothes last longer so you don’t have to go buy more! Two for one.
4) Ditch the Junk Mail This was AMAZING for us to find. We get so much junk mail and credit card offers every single day!
Also, make sure you are signed up for electronic banking, billing, etc for services like your phone, utilities, rent, credit card.
5) Unplug By now you have probably heard this one, but if you didn’t: did you know that electronics are USING electricity even when they are off?
Make sure to UNPLUG all your devices. This is save your energy costs and simply save energy.
My mother is great at this and even always unplugs her washer/ dryer between uses. Which is genius when you think about it, because you only use it maybe once a week, but it otherwise uses energy constantly.
6) Start a Patio Garden You don’t need a TON of space to grow some veggies and herbs.
Raised flower beds are perfect for growing veggies like lettuce, kale, green onions, and even tomatoes, carrots and peppers!
If you have a tiny space, try hanging planters. These are perfect for smaller plants like herbs and greens.
Typical produce sometimes travels across multiple countries to end up at your grocery store, so try to either grow as much as you can on your tiny little patio or at least make sure to shop local when possible!
Check if your town has a Farmer’s Market or Co-op!
7) Start a Compost Bin Now that you have a little garden, start a compost bin. This was something that I held off on for quite awhile because I didn’t know where I could take the full bin but then realized there were a lot of options.
I was lucky enough to find a company here in Madison that picks up my compost every week. We can then get soil back from them, which is pretty awesome.
But even if you don’t have those services, you could look into donating it to a local community or school garden, or check Craigslist to see if gardeners or farmers in the area might take it!
8) Get Some Indoor Plants Plants are great for many reasons but the biggest one being they help clean the air in your apartment.
Plants like bamboo and english ivy are perfect additions to your home. They are pretty and keep your air clean.
Hope these tips make their way into your newer and greener space.