On Earth Day, we not only celebrate the glorious provisions that the earth provides, but we also celebrate the people and companies that work to improve the environment. While politicians, activists, and non-profit groups may be at the forefront of these environmental efforts, groups of everyday people are doing their part too. For instance, apartment communities across the U.S. are making big, green changes. Check out seven apartment community green efforts that are trending across the country. Is your apartment building joining in? Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not easy being green, and it’s even harder if you don’t live in a city that supports eco-friendly initiatives. If you’re moving apartments and find yourself on the hunt for a city that is both a great place to live and kind to the environment, you’re probably struggling with a lot of options. And because no two green cities offer the same perks, it can be tough to sort through what each city offers.
The Green City Checklist
Looking for apartments in an environment-friendly city? Keep these criteria in mind while you choose your new home. See if the city has:
□ A Recycling Program – Some cities have a mandatory recycling program, while others simply encourage its inhabitants to recycle. Find out what kinds of services, like free bins and recycling pick-up, the city has to offer apartment-dwellers.
□ Walkability and a High Walk Score – If cutting down on the use of your car is important to you, it’s helpful to know just how easily you can get around a city on foot. If you’re looking at a specific apartment in a specific city, just find it on ApartmentSearch.com and click the “Neighborhood Info” tab to view the apartment’s Walk Score. To learn more, you can also check out our list of the most walkable cities in the U.S.
□ Bicycle-Friendly Accommodations – A city with plenty of dedicated bike lanes is a cyclist’s best friend. Cities that encourage biking with bike lanes, bike racks, and even bike rental services all contribute to greener city life.
□ A Public Transportation Network – A good public transit system should be efficient and relatively inexpensive. Check out your options in each city, and make sure you know what other renters are saying about the quality of the city’s public transit, and whether the system services the apartments that you are considering.
□ Plenty of Green Space – Green space in a city can include public parks, gardens, playgrounds, plazas, and trails. Urban green spaces can help reduce a city’s carbon footprint, provide a habitat for a variety of flora and fauna, improve air quality, reduce noise pollution, and more.
□ Renewable Energy Resources – These resources might include solar power and wind power, and ideally should be incorporated as resources for the city’s main power plant.
□ LEED-Certified Buildings – Buildings and apartments that are LEED-certified have met a number of Earth-friendly criteria that take into account the energy and water use the building requires, the building’s compliance with environmental laws and regulations, occupancy scenarios, and building permanence.
□ Other City-Wide Earth-Friendly Initiatives – Plenty of cities have programs in place that involve conservation efforts, sustainability initiatives, renewability goals, and community opportunities to become more Earth-friendly. Check out each city’s website; if there’s a special program going on, the city is likely to brag about it up front.
Your Tips for Finding Apartments in a Green City
Moving is a stressful process for everyone involved… but did you know that moving can also be hard on the environment? Before you assemble your moving checklist, remember that there are plenty of things you can do during your move that will eliminate waste. Here are some things can put on your moving checklist in order to make your move a little more Earth-friendly.
1. Use Earth-Friendly Packing Materials
The first step on your “green” moving checklist should be to find some eco-friendly packing materials. This could be something as simple as obtaining your cardboard boxes from friends or asking local stores for extra boxes, rather than buying cardboard boxes. Some stores are not willing to give boxes away, but others are happy to work with you so you can take their excess cardboard boxes. Alternatively, you can rent reusable packing containers, as well as other packing materials, from environmentally-friendly moving companies.
2. Donate Food
When you clean out your pantry and refrigerator before you move, consider donating all unopened food to your local Food Pantry. You won’t have to worry about wasting food or transporting it to your new home. You can also compost any food that can’t be donated.
3. Clean Out Your Closet
Look through all the closets and storage areas in your home and decide what items need to go with you and which don’t. Those that can stay behind can either be donated or sold. In doing this, you will be using fewer packing materials and making fewer trips between your old home and your new one.
4. Use Green Cleaning Supplies
You’ll be cleaning both your old apartment and your new one, so putting green cleaning supplies on your moving checklist is a must. Plenty of major cleaning product lines have environmentally-friendly cleaners. Swap out your regular cleaners for one of them for a quick fix. You can also search online for recipes to make your own cleaning solutions for windows, floors, ovens and more, all using ingredients you already own!
5. Hire an Eco-Friendly Moving Company
If you decide that making the whole move by yourself is too overwhelming, eliminate a ton of the items on your moving checklist by hiring an eco-friendly moving company! These moving companies can provide everything from re-usable moving materials to biodiesel-powered trucks to assist you with you move.
More Moving Checklist Help
For more moving tips, as well as ways to rent furniture, find storage facilities, and a moving checklist for each stage of your move, visit the ApartmentSearch.com Apartment Moving Center. You can also find ApartmentSearch.com on Twitter and follow us for more great apartment advice.
Tips for Having a Green Apartment
Green apartment dwellers make better neighbors. Why such a bold statement? Frankly, it’s because it’s true. When you live in a green apartment, you are helping to make the world a better place for you and all of your neighbors. So in order to assist you in becoming a better neighbor, the following are some tips on how to have a green apartment.
Green Apartment Tip Number One
One of the easiest ways to move your apartment in the green direction is to simply turn down your thermostat. By lowering your thermostat one degree in the winter and raising it one degree in the winter, you can reduce your energy costs by almost five percent.
Green Apartment Tip Number Two
Switching out your apartment supplied showerhead with a low-flow showerhead is one of the most effective ways to conserve water in your apartment. They are inexpensive and take seconds to install and are likely to reduce your water consumption by 50%. Also, make sure you are using “green appliances” that have an energy star rating.
Green Apartment Tip Number Three
Replacing your light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs is a great way to turn your apartment into a green apartment. Changing out just five of your bulbs could reduce your yearly electric bill by $100 and they will help remove greenhouse gases from the air. Whoever thought that changing light bulbs could be so rewarding?
Green Apartment Tip Number Four
Recycle, recycle, recycle. This is always the quickest way to become a little greener. If you are unsure about whether or not your apartment complex has recycling, just ask your apartment manager. If they don’t, try working with the management office to start an apartment-wide recycling program.
Green Apartment Tip Number Five
Finally, make sure that your air conditioning filter is getting changed, and checked, as often as it needs to be. Energy Star, a joint program established by the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Energy, recommends checking the filter monthly and having them changed at least every three months. If you haven’t seen your maintenance man in a while, you might want to give your leasing agent a friendly reminder.