Save the Earth, Save a Dime
International Earth Day is on March 20th, but like everything else, the US has to do things a little differently and the official US Observation of Earth Day is on April 22nd. However, we thought we’d honor both days by offering some tips to live more eco-friendly all year long in your apartment home. Did you know that by using less resources you can save Mother Earth and your bank account too? Here are some great ways to conserve energy and money in your home.
- Dump the Junk Mail-Junk mail usually goes straight from my mailbox to the recycling bin, but there’s a way to skip that extra step by unsubscribing to junk mail altogether, like those pesky credit card offers. Catalog Choice helps you unsubscribe from catalogs you do not wish to receive. And the service at Opt Out Prescreenstops those annoying insurance and credit card offers. Also, make sure to sign up for electronic banking, billing, etc for services like your phone, utilities, rent, credit card to eliminate that extra paper and mail.
- Turn Off the Lights- Mom knew what she was talking about when she pestered you to turn off the lights as a kid. Simply turn off all the lights before you leave in the morning, and unplug electrical equipment that you aren’t using during the day and while you sleep - especially your work and home computers- since electronics use electricity even when they’re off. This goes for washers and dryers too.
- Use LED light bulbs- Not only do LED light bulbs last longer than conventional bulbs, they’re far more efficient, which means that you’ll be using less power and having to replace your light bulbs less frequently. Also, they're available in a range of brightness and designs so you can really tailor the lighting to your needs or to suit the room. If every household in the United State replaced one regular light bulb with one of those new compact fluorescent bulbs, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the road.
- Replace Your Showerhead- A quick and easy change which can make a big impact for the environment and your water bill is installing a WaterSense labeled showerhead, which can save more than 2,300 gallons of water per year for the average household and simultaneously reduce energy demands on water heaters. Most landlords are OK with you changing something as small as a showerhead, as long as you keep the old one and replace it when you move out. However, we suggest asking your building manager beforehand.
- Use less water-While we’re on the subject of water, turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth and only wash full loads of laundry (in cold water—it saves energy). Use a Brita filter or some other filter. I like Santevia. Or you can install a Pur3 water filter on your kitchen faucet and drink filtered tap water instead of bottled. Try washing dishes by hand a few days a week and scrape rather than rinse dishes before loading into the dishwasher.
- Reuse dryer sheets- Using a damp used dryer sheet can remove static from your hair or your clothes. It can also remove soap build-up and mineral deposits in your shower or tub, too.
- Make your own cleaning spray- I have been using water and vinegar and lemon juice to clean my counters for years and it works great and is toxin-free, and much cheaper than buying a new kitchen spray every time I run out. There are other ways to make your own household cleaners. Just Google “how to make your own cleaning supplies.”
- Adjust the thermostat- By going a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees lower in the winter, you can save on your energy bill and conserve energy worldwide.
- Create a book and magazine swap in your building- If you live in an apartment building with a resident gathering space, start an area for already-read books and magazines. You can help out a neighbor by giving them something to read and re-use magazines you’d end up throwing away anyway.
- Drive Less-Start biking or walking or taking public transportation instead of driving all the time, even if it’s just to do a few errands on the weekend. Most big cities also have bicycle sharing programs for people who aren’t owners. Driving, unless you’re in an electric vehicle, isn’t very eco-friendly and can really add to your carbon footprint. When you do have to drive, make sure that you get the most out of your vehicle by keeping the speed down, ensuring tires are properly inflated and that the engine is running smoothly.
- Wrap it Up- Create unique wrapping paper by using glossy magazines you already have, newspaper, or brown paper grocery bags. Not only is this method environmentally friendly and cost-efficient, it’s more unique than store-bought generic paper.
- Keep Recycling -Make sure you know which reusables your city takes and set those aside for recycling days if your city has recycling pick-ups, which most cities do. Since 1990, we have increased the amount of waste recycled from 15% to 34%. In 2010, we recycled 85 million tons of waste, the energy savings equivalent of nearly 230 million barrels of oil.
We’re Committed to Making Life Easy
Whether you’re renting an apartment for the first time or looking to relocate, Hanover Northgate is proud to offer you an exceptional move-in experience, attentive service response, and personal attention. Let us move you into your dream luxury apartment home at Hanover Northgate, where we are so confident you’ll love your new home and lifestyle that we guarantee it. If our Hanover family can’t solve your concern during your move, you’ll be able to move without penalty within the first 7 days. To learn more about our commitment to residents and our designer apartments, visit us online at www.hanovernorthgate.com, give us a call at 510.344.2200, or send us an email. For a glimpse into what it’s like to live in our community, follow us on Facebook or Instagram.