The Three R's in Your Apartment

Reduce your Consumption and Waste

Although this is a basic premise with which most are familiar, it is a good place to start; reducing, reusing and recycling reflect the central concepts of going green in your apartment. In order to reduce your impact on your surrounding environment it is essential to reuse what you can and recycle as much as possible.

Reduce.org has a pretty comprehensive list of ways that will help you reduce the amount of garbage you dispose.

They highlight, in particular ways to reduce excess paper and packaging waste.

The average American household receives more than 500 Get off national marketing lists. You can reduce this excess mail by registering with the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service, contacting individual mailers and asking them to remove your name from their mailing lists and calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT to stop the mailings of credit card offers.

Packaging comprises 30 percent of all municipal garbage. By purchasing items with less packaging you can drastically reduce the amount of waste. Buying in bulk and avoiding single serving packages.

The Green Your Apartment Blog also provides some helpful tips on living a greener lifestyle. When you are running errands, try to look for ways to group your outings. Make a list of all the things that you have to do so that you can take the most efficient route. This will cut down on the amount you will have to drive. Also, when you are grocery shopping, instead of using paper or plastic, use neither by bringing your own reusable bag.

When you are around your apartment, be sure to conserve electricity and water by using only the lights you need. When you leave a room, turn off the light. This is such a simple thing to do, but it often requires diligence to get into the habit. Taking shorter showers, washing dishes by hand and of course, turning off the faucet when you shave or brush your teeth are all things of which you should be conscious.

Paper towels are expensive and wasteful. By simply using a dish towel and sponge to clean spills and dry dishes, you will be able to save money and help the environment. Just having a paper towel roll on the counter can be enough of an incentive to use them to excess; instead, just keep a sponge for counters, a sponge for dishes and dish towels in convenient locations to reduce the temptation to use paper towels.

Reusing Household Products

One of the best ways to reduce your waste and consumption is to reuse things that you would normally throw in the garbage. Reusing is also better than recycling because it saves the energy it takes to turn a post consumer item into industrial grade product.

Reusing can be a pretty creative exercise, but you don’t need to be an art teacher to be a good reuser; take a look at whatever you would normally throw away and try to identify alternative uses. For example, you can use any screw top glass jar for containers and cups, milk gallons for funnels, cardboard boxes for shipping or storing items, and old newspapers to wash mirrors.

Another way to reuse is by prolonging the life of existent products by buying second hand goods. Instead of purchasing new items, see if you would be able to use pre-owned clothes, lamps, electronic equipment, furniture, and kitchenware. Also, if you really do need new things, be sure to bring your old stuff down to thrift stores so someone else may reuse them.

Recycling

For the items that you cannot reuse, and for waste that you could not reduce, it is as important as it is easy to recycle. Make sure you keep a recycling receptacle in a convenient location in your apartment and remember to take it out to the curb or to your local recycling center. Paper, plastic, aluminum and glass can all be recycled.

The Green Your Apartment Blog also provides a great list of links for how to dispose of batteries, cell phones, CFLs, computers, ink cartridges and other electronics. These things can pile up around the apartment and it can be difficult to dispose of. Use the set of links below to find recycling centers for the items below:

Disposing of these items properly is important, batteries leak acid, CFLs contain mercury and the other items have parts that can be reused.

These are just some of the ways that can help you turn your apartment green. Be sure to check back for more articles on things that you can do around your apartment to help the environment. The great thing about going green is that it can usually lead to a healthier, thriftier lifestyle, and change in that direction universally appealing

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