There are so many reasons why you should make an effort to go green around the apartment! Need a financial motivation? Making efforts to go green with your appliances and products can not only save you money but also increase your home’s value. Need a health-related motivation? You’ll breathe better air! Green homes have better indoor air quality because environmentally friendly paints, cleaners, and adhesives are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which reduces your exposure to formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Or what about efficiency in and around your house? Cleaner air allows you to be more productive because cleaner air means less sick days and better health. Read on for 5 easy ways you can make changes to your apartment to go green. Your wallet and your health will thank you!
Use low flow shower heads
Did you know that showering accounts for up to 30% of overall water usage for a house? Implementing a low flow shower head can help decrease water consumption by 40% or more, which can translate to a savings of up to $50 each year in water heating costs. A common misconception is that low flow means low water pressure but this is not the case. Newer versions of low flow shower heads use smaller apertures and air to create stronger pressure so you won’t even notice the difference until you see your water bill.
2. Replace appliances that are 15 or more years old
Old appliances like refrigerators are much less energy and cost efficient than newer ones. Your old refrigerator could be wasting as much as $65 in electricity a year. If your fridge or freezer was manufactured between 1993 and 1999 you should consider replacing your appliance if:
Your electricity rates are higher than the national average
Calculate that here!
You have a side by side refrigerator, which use 25% more energy
Your household size has shrunk and you could use a smaller model
3. Switch traditional incandescent light bulbs and fixtures for LED or high efficiency bulbs
While high efficiency bulbs are more expensive to buy than traditional light bulbs, the savings you accumulate over the long run make them more than worth it. CFL light bulbs use far less electricity and last longer so you can see between $30 and $50 saved on your electric bill over the bulb’s lifespan of up to 10 years.
4. Use power strips
Think of the appliances around the house that you keep plugged in yet only use occasionally. For example, that printer that’s only used every other month yet always stays plugged in. But no one wants to get down on all fours to plug in or unplug a device every time you need to use it. Power strips to the rescue! The easy on off switch allows you to turn the appliance on or off with the flick of a switch.
5. Biodegradable or natural cleaning products
Natural options are an effective yet environmentally friendly way to keep your home clean yet green. You probably even have items around the house you can use to make natural cleaners like vinegar, tea tree oil, lemons, baking soda, and salt.