Going Green: Eco-Friendly Apartment Living Tips

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eco-friendly apartment living

One of the most frustrating aspects of living in a rental for those who are environmentally conscious is the fact that it’s so hard to be as eco-friendly conscious as you want to be. 

It’s a sad reality that most high-rise buildings all across the world and other large municipalities that don’t offer a compost program, and many don’t even offer to recycle. 

Whether you’re renting a walk-up, a rental in Minneapolis or even a Toronto townhouse, you’ll face eco-friendly challenges — often ones that landlords would never even think of. 

If you’re not allowed or discouraged from putting nails in the wall, for example, you’re forced to use plastic sticky strips to hang your pictures. You may also be pushed into buying laminate, flat-pack furniture that you’ll probably throw out when you do eventually buy a home — contributing to the planet’s overwhelming landfill issues. 

It’s never been more important to highlight green issues important to renters since an increasing portion of us are choosing this lifestyle. Renting is no longer a temporary situation in urban cities, but a life-long reality. So, let’s make the most of it and go over some ways you can incorporate environmentally-friendly practices into your renting experience

Buy Second-Hand Furniture

Remember that reducing comes before reusing or recycling. To minimize your consumption and environmental impact, why not purchase your furniture second-hand?

You’d be surprised at the incredible amount of goods floating around, especially in large cities. Even if you don’t own a car, it can cost as little as $50 to hire someone with a van to pick something up for you — which is well worth it considering that used furniture is often less than half the price of new furniture (and sometimes even free!)

Check out Craiglist, Facebook Marketplace and other selling platforms, or do some curb-side shopping. 

Bring your Compost Next Door

If you’re living in a high-rise building that doesn’t subscribe to your city’s waste collection services than you’re going to have to get a bit creative. First, assess what your compost is made out of. If your compost is mostly composed of diapers, then don’t even bother, just throw those directly in the trash. 

The city takes them out anyway and tosses them in a landfill since they never actually decompose. But if most of your compost is vegetable and fruit cast-offs, then it’s well worth the effort to hunt one down. Food waste in landfills never breaks down on its own but instead expels methane gas into the atmosphere. 

Do any neighboring apartment buildings have one? Can you bring it back to your parents’ detached house green bin? Can you make a homemade compost on your balcony? If you want to do it bad enough, you can make it work!

Minimize Plastics

Plastics are increasingly a concern to citizens, both rentals and owners. They’ve been shown to disrupt your hormones, and are also just really, really bad for marine life.

As a renter, you may be pushed into using more plastic than you’re comfortable with because of a lack of space. But just think of how much money you’ll be saving, and how many fewer trips to big-box stores you’ll have to make. To start, why not replace your plastic sandwich baggies with reusable silicone ones, plastic food storage with stainless steel or glass and plastic bags with canvas ones?

Green living as a renter can be a challenge because you’re not as in control of your environment as an owner. But with a little creativity and a lot of effort, you can do your part in the larger conservation effort. 

And if you’re looking for an eco-friendly apartment, start your search here.