Going green has gone decidedly mainstream now. Governments are encouraging green buildings with tax incentives while buyers are willing to pay a premium for your property if you’ve invested in green technology. If you’re looking to sell your house quickly and lucratively, there’s no better way than going green.
But most of the advice on going green assumes you live in a traditional house with enough space to create a solar farm on the front and back yards. There’s not much advice about going green in an apartment block.
Part of the problem is the options are pretty limited when you share a modern apartment building with tens or hundreds of neighbors. There’s little you can do to make the whole building live up to sustainability standards. But you can probably make a difference in your apartment with some simple steps:
The most simple step you can take to make a difference is cut the amount of water you use. If you live in an apartment you could be wasting hundreds of litres of water every year without realizing it. Take the time to fix leaks, retrofit taps, and understand water consumption.
Consume less energy
Energy waste is just as serious as wasting water. Simply switching off lights when you leave the room is not enough. To make a genuine difference you may have to go one step further and instal some smart tech and LED lights around the apartment. Start by buying Energy Star appliances and a smart thermostat that adapts to the weather.
The best thing about living in an apartment is the number of people who share the building with you. You can probably create a carpool with some of your neighbors to help save fuel on your trips to the train station or supermarket. Uber should make this a lot easier.
The three most important rooms in the house are the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. If you can make minor upgrades here, your overall carbon footprint will be drastically reduced. Insulate the windows in your bedroom, check your fridge seals regularly to make sure they’re not damaged, use a dishwasher (instead of washing by hand), get a low-flow showerhead, and install a dual-flush toilet. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference these minor upgrades can make.
Create a Community
Residents at apartment blocks can quickly and easily create a community if someone takes the initiative. There’s a lot you can do if you get some neighbors together and take collective actions to make the building greener. Everything from rooftop solar farms to vertical indoor farms could become possible if you just get some help.
Living in an apartment block does have its advantages and disadvantages. But your lack of control shouldn’t get in the way of doing what’s best for the environment. Take the initiative, do some research, create a community, and get to work.