Apartment Living: Lead a More Energy Efficient Lifestyle
It doesn't matter if you live in an apartment, condominium, or house- increased energy efficiency helps us get the most out of dwindling natural resources. It also lessens our reliance on energy from overseas, and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to other harmful air pollutants. Reducing our environmental impact doesn't have to be hard. The Mayo Group founder, John McGrail, is committed to reducing our carbon footprint in the many apartment communities we own and manage. We encourage our rental tenants to join us in this commitment. Not only is this a worthwhile initiative for saving energy, it will also allow our residents to save money on utility bills. These tips are good for anyone living in an apartment community:
1.) Use Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). Even though a lot of consumers have converted to CFLs you'd be surprised how many have not. Not only do CFLs require far less energy to operate (They use about 1/5 of the energy a regular light bulb uses) they also last approximately six to ten times longer than conventional light bulbs. CFLs are slightly more expensive but they easily pay for themselves over the course of their lifetime. Another added benefit is that light fixtures that are painstaking to access will require less changing.
2.) Unplug electronics that are not in use. Appliances continue to drain unnecessary electricity whenever they are plugged in. By unplugging devices like your coffee maker and laptop you will not only save on your electric bill but you will also reduce your output of carbon emissions. By simply using a power strip you can save yourself the hassle of unplugging your TV, DVD player, and cable box when they are not in use. Apartment dwellers that aren't responsible for their electric bill should still be conscious of this point because if a battery operated appliance is constantly plugged in it drains the capacity of the battery over time; this can be especially inconvenient when it comes to laptops and cell phones.
3.) Conserve water. Great news! Most dishwashers these days will use less water than it would take for you to wash your dishes by hand- so make sure to load your dishwasher and save yourself the trouble. Faucet aerators and updated showerheads will also help save water and money on your electric bill. Don't hesitate to contact your landlord if you feel like your appliances are guzzling energy because if you're right, they may replace them to save money long term.
4.) Get active. If you live in an apartment located in an urban or downtown area you can walk or ride your bike to complete local errands. Not only will you save energy and minimize pollution but you'll also burn some calories while you're at it.
5.) Plant a flower box or indoor herb garden. If you have permission from your landlord, you can grow your own flowers and herbs using an outdoor window box. If that's against community rules you can always grow these plants indoors year round as long as they have adequate light. This will save you money at the grocery store, lessen your exposure to pesticides, and eliminate gas usage and emissions related to transport altogether.
6.) Recycle. Storage space can be limited in an apartment which can discourage proper recycling or recycling altogether. When space is limited it is important to be organized. Renters should carefully organize recyclables into paper, plastic and aluminum. Remember that plastic is not biodegradable, but if you recycle it can be reformed into several other useful products including carpet fiber and fabric. Recycling efficiently and buying recycled materials is a great way to come full circle in the process. Reducing our carbon footprint doesn't have to pain staking. An energy efficient lifestyle can help renters save money and live healthier more responsible lives.