Apartment and gated communities have been known to influence the lifestyle of an entire neighbourhood. They are often considered to be the epitomes of the living standards to be followed in a certain locality. This implies that apartment residents are each one of them Community Leaders in their own right. Therefore, a Community that encourages environmentally sustainable lifestyle practices, also influence their entire neighbourhood at large to adopt sustainable practices
1. Energy Consumption – Do It Right
- We’ve all learnt this while growing up – switch off all lights, fans and electrical appliances when not in use can help conserve energy. But did you know that energy devices consume power even when they’re plugged in? Make it a habit to unplug appliances when not in use, wear clothes more than once to create less loads for the washing machine, air dry clothes and open the fridge door only when needed.
- Use CFL or LED bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. They use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer. During the day, make the best use of natural light whenever possible. Adjust your computer settings to “energy saver modes.”
- Painting your home a light colour if you live in a warm climate and dark colour if you live in a cold climate, can help reduce the usage of air conditioners and heaters.
Surprise fact : Did you know streaming videos/music online consumes more energy compared to enjoying downloaded content?
2. Every Drop Counts:
- Avoid letting the water run while washing the dishes, brushing teeth etc. Reduce the time you take to shower. Turn off the shower when you lather your hair and body, or shave. Better still, take bucket baths whenever you can.
- Fix any leaky pipes, taps, shower heads or toilets. Around 13.7% of household water is wasted on leaks alone! Water is certainly an element that adds up to be one of the most crucial parts of sustainable lifestyle practices.
- Whenever it rains, make sure to keep a tub or bucket of water in your apartment balcony to collect any rainwater that gushes in. You can reuse this water to water your plants.
- Always run laundry with a full load of clothes. Use 2 tubs of water for washing your dishes instead of letting the water run. Use one tub for washing and another one to rinse out the dishes.
3. Don’t forget your 3 R’s.
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – a mantra that is not repeated often enough. Time to head back to our high school lessons, eh? Start off by having three dustbins for wet, dry and sanitary waste. Get your neighbours and the community involved and make it a group effort. Your goal and a step towards sustainable lifestyle practices should be going zero waste, by eliminating single use items.
- Consider owning and using reusable shopping bags and water bottles. Regularly donate items to charity and people in need. Donate everything from books, clothes, unused electronics and devices, furniture, cutlery etc. Do not throw away take-out containers from restaurants. Take extra care of food that comes in glass bottles like jams and pickles that could be washed and used to store items like spoons or hair pins.
- Practice buying only what you need. When you go out to the market to buy something, keep a specific list of item/s in mind and focus on purchasing only those items. Don’t get tempted to buy everything you see. This will only add unnecessary items in your home.
- And lastly of course, think of reusing items like furniture in new and innovative ways. The internet is at your service 24*7 nowadays. DIY a few things that you probably wanted to dispose off before.
4. Green is the new Black
- One of the most effective sustainable lifestyle practices is going green! Literally and figuratively. Get houseplants to place around your house. Not only do they purify the atmosphere and add a splash of green, but certain plants also trap heat and keep the house cooler.
- Avoid using chemical and synthetic fabrics. Instead, switch to more natural fabrics like cotton and linen. When you’re planning to renovate or repaint your house, opt for more eco-friendly paints.
- Go paperless to pay your bills and store documents. Here’s why you should use an online system of apartment management to start your journey into sustainability. Use natural recipes and remedies to make your own cleaning products at home.
5. Food – The Healthier Approach
- While adopting sustainable lifestyle practices, it’s important to note that the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization suggests lesser consumption of dairy and red meat as livestock are responsible for 18% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.
- If you’re reading this right now, it’s time to go vocal for local. Locally produced veggies and fruits are fresher, travelled over short distances and last longer. They also have less pesticides and chemicals. Also, like everything else, don’t buy more food than you need or can eat.
- Another great initiative is to start home composting. You can dispose of all wet waste like peels, leftovers, shells and other trash into a composting system and voila! You now have fresh, homegrown manure to feed your plants, donate or sell to the market. Check out our guide on home composting from this blog.
On September 17th 2020, in New York city, Manhattan, Union Square, a clock displaying red numbers was set up by artists Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd. The objective of the clock was to remind us that human civilization precisely had 7 years, 103 days, 15 hours, 40 minutes and 7 seconds before a planet-wide climate disaster strikes us.
This clock is a poignant reminder of how little time we have left to protect our planet and preserve it for future generations. As an apartment resident, it is up-to you and me to imbibe these doable sustainable lifestyle practices and lower our carbon footprint.