Knowledge Center

Live Your Best, Green Life (part II)

By RadPad
Posted May 6, 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 II

  1. Go with the Flow

Our planet will always have the same amount of water – it’s a replenishing resource. However, only 2.5% of this water is freshwater (the rest is salt water which takes enormous energy to convert, and even this is an emerging and expensive technology). As our populations grow, available freshwater is used up faster. At the same time, a warming planet means cities in dry climates are seeing their freshwater supplies dwindle. Add an aerator to your sinks and showers to reduce water usage with no reduction in pressure.

 

  1. Greening the Throne

Many old toilets use much more water than is really needed to flush waste – up to 7 gallons! With an average of five flushes a day per person, that’s a lot of clean, fresh water literally going down the toilet. Add a pint or quart jug to your toilet’s tank to reduce the amount of water used with each flush. And, if your household is on board, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow!”

 

  1. A Bright Idea

Less than 20% of America’s energy is produced from clean, renewable resources such as the sun or wind. Energy from fossil fuels (coal and natural gas) produce harmful air pollution. New lighting standards that went into effect in 2012 increased bulb efficiency by about 25%, but there are still a couple of options that use even less energy. Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs cost a little bit more up front but are four times more efficient. LED bulbs use a whopping 75% less energy than incandescent and last 25% longer.

 

  1. Share the Road

Emissions standards today are better than they ever have been, but vehicles are still responsible for roughly a third of harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, anything we can do to reduce their use goes a long way. Did you know that electric cars are only sustainable if they are charged with electricity from renewable sources? Until the US produces a majority of its energy from renewable sources, swap driving alone for taking the train or bus, carpool or car sharing services. Even better, get your workout in and ride your bike!

 

  1. Your Dollar Counts

Finally, remember that what you choose to spend money on shows the market what consumers want. Choose products, services and even your apartment according to their impact on the environment and help be the change.

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!