It’s no secret that the carefree way in which many of us are living is putting stress on our precious planet and its natural ecosystems. And while most of us are aware of the ongoing environmental issues, we aren’t necessarily taking the all-important steps to adapt our homes and lifestyles accordingly – but that can all change right now. We’ve put together 4 easy steps to help you ensure your apartment is as eco-friendly as possible.
1. An energetic solution
Where does your energy come from? If your building is fitted with modern solar panels that help power your apartment during summer months, you’re off to a good start. But if your living room is fitted with a heat pump/air conditioner labelled with a low-star energy rating, you’re not living the most eco-friendly life. When buying a new apartment, find out about the building’s energy efficiency, and check labels to ensure appliances are environmentally friendly when possible.
For action with immediate effect, make a conscious effort to refrain from using power unnecessarily. Don’t turn on the air-con if an open balcony door would do the same job. Don’t put on a half-empty load in the dishwasher or washing machine. And consider an old-school clothes horse rather than having your tumble dryer rumbling away all night.
2. Light bulb moment
Energy-saving light bulbs are a great way for people to immediately join the positive environmentalist movement. LED light bulbs have come a long way since they first emerged on the shelves, and are now available in all sorts of shapes, sizes and designs. Perhaps most importantly, they are no longer limited to producing a white, distinctly un-cosy lighting effect, but can be bought in warmer shades to enhance your apartment beautifully – they even work with dimmer switches. But do remember to turn them off when you leave the room...
3. Retail therapy
It’s important to fill your apartment with lovely decor and delicious ingredients to make it an enjoyable place to spend time. But the process of furnishing your living room and stocking your fridge usually requires carrier bags – and if you’re opting for throw-away plastic bags every time, you’re definitely not being as eco-friendly as you could be. So next time you pop to the supermarket or into a home interiors boutique, arrive equipped with reusable cotton bags to avoid bringing home a collection of plastic ones that will only end up in the bin, and later polluting the environment.
4. Recycle this
Another way to adjust your shopping habits in favour of an eco-friendly lifestyle is to opt for foods that have less or no packaging. Why does a small handful of coriander need an entire plastic casing of its own anyway? Especially when you can grow it at home, saving you waste and money, while also freshening up your kitchen’s aesthetic.
Of course, there will be times when you don’t have a choice but to buy packaged food, if only for convenience – it’s handy to have your ketchup in a squeezy bottle. But what you can do is make sure you buy products in packaging that is entirely recyclable, and then be a responsible recycler. Look out for the recycle symbol on all packaging, make sure you have a dedicated recycling bin in your apartment, and make regular trips down to your building’s recycling section.
So there you have it, 4 easy steps that will transform you and your apartment into prime examples of eco-friendly candidates.