Conserving energy is great for the planet, and, of course, a perfect way to lower your overall carbon footprint. But it can also help you to lower your annual cost of living. By making small changes to your everyday life, you’ll be able to see some big results.
While living in an apartment, it might not feel like there is much you can do to reduce your energy consumption. But we’ve made a list of some things you can do to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. These simple and relatively small differences can go a long way to helping reduce your monthly utility bill.
Use your blinds
During those hot summer months, close your curtains or blinds during the day to keep the sun from heating up the room. And on the flip side, during those colder months, keep those blinds open during the day to allow the sun to warm your space. Be sure to close them at night to keep the warmth in and the cold out.
While it doesn’t seem like much, simply opening and closing your blinds will show a dramatic change in the temperature in your house. Which will help your air conditioner and heater not have to work so hard and save you money.
Use your dishwasher
Depending on how many dishes you have to wash, you can use up to 27 gallons of water per load when you wash your dishes by hand. Yet, with a regular, not high-efficiency, dishwasher, you’ll use up to 6 gallons of water. As for those high-efficiency dishwashers only 4 gallons of water. If you’re washing dishes by hand every day, the gallons easily start accumulating.
It’s a much better option to run that dishwasher than trying to do the dishes by hand. Though you should wait until the evening to run the cycle, as the dishwasher will generate extra heat you don’t want lingering in your house during the day.
Turn off the tap
While it may seem like a no brainer, turning off the faucet while not in active use can be a huge water savings. When you brush your teeth, if you leave the tap running you can use up to five gallons of water. By turning the water off you’ll be saving a bunch of water with a simple fix. The same goes for other everyday activities too, like shaving. And even when you have to wash those dishes by hand. Turning off the water is a simple way to stop excess water use with very minimal effort.
Replace your light bulbs
A simple upgrade to make your home more eco-friendly is to change out your lightbulbs. Replace your incandescent lights with the much higher efficient LED lights. It’s a wise investment for anyone trying to save some money on their utility bills. With LED lights, a 6-7 watt usage is the equivalent of a 40-watt incandescent bulb to give off the same amount of light. Meaning the LED light uses significantly lower wattage than the incandescent bulb. Ultimately that switch is saving you money. And with the LED, they’ll last much longer, so you won’t have to continually be replacing the bulbs.
Grow some plants
If you’ve got a patio, try growing some fruits and vegetables out there. Growing your own fruits and vegetables will help lower your carbon footprint. But if that isn’t feasible, then see what you can grow inside.
Maybe you can set up an herb garden in your kitchen. Or find some other plants that you find pretty and stash them throughout your space. Plants are not only a gorgeous accessory to any room, but they also help clean the air around your space.
Take some time to learn about their watering, feeding, and light needs before jumping head first into this. You don’t want to set yourself up to fail.
Spend less time in the car
Cutting down on your car use is a great way to make a huge change to becoming more eco-friendly. When you’re looking for a place to live, choosing somewhere near your work is key to spending less time in the car and in turn lowering your fossil fuel emissions.
If possible pick a place where you can walk or even bike to work. Not only will you get your body moving, but you’ll also be happily saving money each month when you don’t have to fill your gas tank up.
But if proximity to work isn’t an option, then the next best solution is figuring out the public transit situation. It may take a bit more time to get to work in the morning, though rather than spending time paying attention to traffic, you can spend that time preparing for the day.
Use green cleaners
When you go to clean your place, instead of choosing harsh chemicals that are hard on the environment, try something a bit gentler on both you and the world around you. Not only does eco-friendly products do the same job as the harsher chemicals, but it also tends to be a much nicer smell too. And many of them come in refillable containers to help lower the amount of throw away waste.
Whether you head for the eco-friendly options at the local grocery store or you decide to make your own, make sure to do your bit of research. Find out which is the best option before jumping head first into something.
There are dozens of other ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle that we weren’t able to cover. Let us know in the comments what are some of the things you’ve done to lower your carbon footprint and in turn lower your annual costs of living.
If you’re looking for a new place to live, or are interested in moving to the wonderful city of Phoenix, find your next dream apartment here.
And while you’re looking for the best apartment for you, head on over to our post about how to decorate your new Phoenix apartment.