Knowledge Center

Live Your Best, Green Life

By RadPad
Posted April 22, 2019

Wondering how to live greener in an apartment? Even when you might not have control over building-related decisions, there is still plenty you can do to green up your pad. In honor of Earth Day, we’ve rounded up our favorite ways to live your best life while also reducing your impact on the environment.

 

PART I

  1.     Do You Need It?

Because the creation of new products uses energy and resources and can also contribute to air and water pollution, reducing the need to create new things is really the first stop on the sustainable living train. Before purchasing an item, consider if it’s something you really want or need and how long it will last. Also consider how much packaging it comes with, sometimes accounting for just as much material as an item itself! Get rid of annoying and wasteful junk mail through Catalog Choice and Opt Out Prescreen.

 

  1.     Use It Through It’s Useful Life

Often, what we already have just needs a simple repair or can find a new home through selling or donating it. For everyday items, such as water bottles, to-go containers and utensils, food storage items and drinking straws, choose reusable items rather than disposable. Borrow or share items you don’t use often (and save some money, too!).

 

  1.     Then, Recycle It

Most apartment buildings and municipalities offer single-stream recycling (meaning you don’t need to separate plastic, glass, metal and paper), making it super convenient to create new items from old ones. This is the last leg of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” train, however, as recycling still uses quite a bit of energy and water and doesn’t always produce high quality products at the end.

 

  1.     Ditch Those Plastic Bags

The average American takes home almost 1,500 single-use plastic shopping bags a year – that really adds up! Invest in a set of reusable bags that stay in your car (or close at hand on your regular shopping days). If you do find yourself without your bags, ask for paper – a renewable and easily recycled material.

 

  1. Deliciously Clean

Eating organic is healthier for you and better for the environment as pesticides and herbicides aren’t being introduced into the ecosystem. Even simply eating locally and seasonally reduces the need for chemicals as these are foods that are already suited to local rainfall and temperatures and need very little extra help to thrive. Eating locally also reduces fossil fuels needed for transportation and supports the local economy. Also, grow your own!

Knowledge Center

The Top 5 Smart Home Gadgets for Your Apartment

By RadPad
Posted April 1, 2019

Ready to join the smart home craze, but live in an apartment? No problem! While the first wave of this technology was largely geared towards hard-wired applications for single-family home owners, there are now emerging portable options that don’t require you to leave them behind when you move and only require a smart phone to operate.

Here are our top 5 smart apps and products that offer convenience and ease for your home.

  1. Voice Activated Speakers
    “Google, do you know Alexa?”
    Amazon and Google are the leading players in the rapidly growing-smart speaker field. All of them allow you to simply speak the recognized “wake” alert and then request to turn on any number of smart-connected devices, such as a TV, sound system, lighting and more or answer a query (here’s a comprehensive list of commands Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant).
  2. Light Bulbs
    It’s as easy as screwing in a light bulb…
    Smart lighting allow you to turn fixtures on and off remotely, dim them to the perfect light level, set an automatic schedule when traveling or for gentle waking, connect to your voice-controlled devices and even change colors to set your mood. Some require a discrete wireless hub while others have the tech included in the bulb, itself. The top brands on the market today Philips Hue are LIFX.
  3. Light Dimming
    Let there be (less) light!
    For those without smart bulbs and for applications such as ceiling lights and want the convenience of a dimmer switch, the LightwaveRF switch plate uses existing wiring for quick and easy installation and is compatible with a wide range of dimmable LEDs. They can be controlled manually or remotely using an app or a remote control.
  4. Power
    Set it and forget it.
    The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip offers protection from a power surge as well as app-controlled on/off switching for up to six items. The strip and plugs such as and the TP-Link Smart Plug and Belkin’s WeMo also offer scheduling for travel, holiday lighting or just creating a welcoming home after a long day of work.
  5. TV
    It’s all at your fingertips.
    If you don’t already have a smart TV, there are a host of smart devices that allow you to stream Netflix, Now TV, YouTube, Google Play, Spotify and other services. Leading the pack are the Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick or Cube, Roku Streaming Stick and Apple TV.

Apartment dwellers, welcome to the future!