Stepping lightly upon the earth while living in an apartment might not be as easy as it is when you're in your own home, but it's not impossible to accomplish. Sustainable products and green tech can be utilized in small spaces to the good of the planet and your budget. All it takes is a bit of research, a few solid investments, and a determination to change old habits.
Use Solar And Wind In Your Rental
At least two options that make it possible to use your main utility less or purchase multiple systems and eradicate your bill altogether are available for apartment dwellers and modular home owners:
The greenerator's solar wind chime requires a balcony, but it's reported to save at least 6 percent on electricity bills. Couple that with wise energy usage, lighting candles when electric lights aren't necessary, space heaters, window treatments, electric blankets in the winter, and solar chargers for your mobile phone and laptop, and it could be worth the initial investment..
The Xantrex solar generator (with a built in inverter, car jack, terminals and additional battery slot) can be used as a backup system. Look for the green tech video tutorials on youtube by Pickles&Ammo for well-laid details for putting together a system that can provide an average of 2 hours of solar energy each.
Use Soapnuts, Essential Oils, and Other Green Cleaning Options
Soapnuts are a completely natural soap that can be used as a personal body soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent. Add in a few anti-microbial essential oils, like tea tree or lavender oil, and you have cleanser that won't pollute the waterways and life therein. The hulls of the soapnuts can also be reused to make liquid soap an average of four to five times. At around 4.99 a bag, they provide a pretty hefty savings while being completely poison-free.
Hand Wash and Air Dry Your Laundry
Hand washing your clothes saves on both energy and water. You're unlikely to want to do it every day, but if you're keep your laundry decently organized, you can get smaller loads completed with less soap and water. The Wonder Washer averages a price-point of 55.00 and can handle a day or two of laundry easily, leaving you reusable graywater for gardening when it's finished. The Bubble Magic (considerably more expensive) and Laundry Pod (a washer designed specifically with green tech - to be released) appear to have similar spins on the Wonder Washer.
Collect Your Gray Water
If you're using green soaps (like soapnuts or formulations of chemical-free cleaners) you can collect gray water (old bathwater, dishwater, etc) and use it to water the plants in your window or community garden. You'd want to avoid saving graywater that contains chemical cleansers, however. Chemical cleansers will poison plant-life and any small gardens that provide you with homegrown tomatoes, onions, greens, garlic, and the like.
If You're Not Using It, Unplug It
Electronics can use 1000 kilowatts while they're in standby mode. It's a lot of unnecessarily wasted power. If you're running a solar or wind generator, you'll want to be extra careful with efficiency. Contrary to popular belief, you don't use more power turning electronics on and off. Plug everything into a power-strip, and shut off the power strip when you're ready to turn in for the night, when you leave, and when you don't need anything on the strip. An added bonus to turning everything off at night if the peaceful sleep you'll receive without elf (extra low frequencies: cast off by electronics) distracting your energy field.
Use Recyclable Rolls
Over 370, 000 trees and tons of water are saved with this choice. Switching to a recyclable roll of tissue for your bathroom is as simple as switching to a green brand of toilet tissue.
Buy Local and Upcycle
Products that don't have to be shipped for miles use less fuel than their long-distance counterparts. Local foods with anti-allergen benefits can counter the allergens in their local environments. Investing in local community is also necessary to counter straining economy.
Invest In A Folding Cycle
If you have a car that isn't electric or a hybrid, give it a rest. Acquire a folding bicycle, and utilize it for local travel. Beyond the impact associated with a cycle's production, it has virtually no perpetual carbon footprint, and it's actually good for your health. This automatically makes it good for your spirit. When you're actually using your physical system, you blood nourishes all of your cells, your thoughts become clear, and you will have more energy and passion for general living (this naturally powers your inherent creativity).
Green Your Landlord
If you're landlord is open to saving money in the long run, talk to the office about green tech upgrades that can be made to their existing units.
Compost toilets eradicate the need for extreme water wastes while additionally providing you with compost for window and community gardens. If ever there was a dream approach to greening your bathroom, surely this is it. Composting toilets come in several sizes that can accommodate a variety of lifestyles (including portable living).
Even if these are only used to power hallway lights, they're simple green tech options that can make quite a bit of difference, and if your landlord includes utilities with the rent ,a lot of the cost (if not all) can be offset by the installation of solar panels.
A building with a community garden in one of its extra spaces or on the rooftop provides an amenity that will draw an excellent selection of die-hard greenies and the green-curious to your building. If your property management office is concerned with the quality of tenant that rents from the property, a community garden makes a strong attractor and a way to ensure fresh fruits and vegetables are accessible to the community as well.
You're landlord is likely to be more concerned about replacing appliances if the utilities are included with the rent, and the refrigerators in the building will the first titans to look at. Older refrigerators are insanely wasteful of energy, but there are quite a few energy-efficient options now, and even green tech solar refrigerators are available for purchase. Public utilities usually offer programs that will audit your energy usage, so you can learn which appliances are draining your supply.