The best piece of advice for anybody looking to incorporate sustainability into their lifestyle this summer, is to start small. The world of living green can be a bit intimidating to a beginner, but there are simple steps you can take to save energy, reduce your waste, reuse and recycle to improve the sustainability of your Chico or Redding apartment.
Summer in Chico and Redding is a great time to start thinking about subtle improvements you can make to reduce energy usage and cost. Remember, you don’t have to radically change your lifestyle to radically change your impact on the environment and your budget. Small tweaks to your everyday habits, processes, and resources can make a big difference. The art of sustainability can be a fulfilling and beneficial journey, let's get started!
The Power of Unplugging
One of the easiest and most pain-free ways to reduce your energy usage and cost this summer is to get yourself in the habit of unplugging. Especially when you'll be using your air conditioner and fans more often, it will help to reduce your impact and monthly fees.
The appliances, electronics, outlet devices, etc plugged in at your home, continue to zap energy all day long, even when they are not actively in use. According to a helpful resource from GreenLivingApartments.com, “standby power in the average household consumes 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. That's enough energy to power an entire home for two months, or more.”
The solution is to unplug devices that aren’t being used. Save energy and save money! By applying this helpful tip in your apartment, you could be saving enough money for a month or more of electricity bills.
Recycling and Reusing
An easy way to support a sustainable lifestyle is to separate out your throw away items into recyclables or trash.
If you have the space, it's a best practice to have a container for each type. If you'll be having anyone over, be sure to encourage them to follow your trash and recycling rules to help you in your efforts to be more sustainable.
For an insightful and easy-to-follow guide on what should be recycled or sent to a landfill in the trash, consult Waste Management’s article on What Can I Recycle?
For the best way to get rid of food scraps and decomposable throw away items, composting is the way to go. As a fun summer experiment that you can try, and even get the kids involved in, test out your hand at composting.
If the idea of composting seems strange to you, check out this article on How to Make a Compost Pile in a Small Apartment, in which Forbes magazine recommends to start by purchasing, “a large plastic or ceramic container,” that you can find at a gardening or department store. They walk you through how to create a proper compost container by following the 3 steps below:
- Poke holes in the lid and base of a plastic box to create ventilation and allow water to drain.
- Place a tray beneath the container to catch the drainage.
- Keep the compost pile inside or outside of your apartment, but make sure it is in a cool spot that gets plenty of sunlight.
For helpful tips for how to use your compost bucket once it has been created, follow the step-by-step instructions. Our best advice for this fun adventure is to give it a shot to see if it works for your lifestyle. If you love it, then great! Try using the soil for your houseplants. If it isn't quite your thing, follow along below for other sustainable practices to apply in your Chico or Redding apartment instead.
Using Less Water
Summer is synonymous with water! We use more for activities, home cooling, ice, etc. The reality is that we could be doing far more to conserve water especially during the summer months.
The good news is that apartments generally use less water than houses. For an enlightening perspective on the power of numbers, think of how much your apartment building or complex could conserve if every unit did their best to save a few gallons a day?
It's important to understand that a little does go a long way, and the more you research ways to save water and encourage your neighbors to do the same, the bigger impact you will have. Think of the environment, your water bill, the fishes, basically whatever motivates you to think sustainably, and get started in your Redding or Chico apartment!
Be mindful of minutes, drips, and leaky faucets! CalWater reports on how to save water in an apartment building:
- Every minute you shorten your shower can save up to 75 gallons per month.
- If every apartment in a 15-unit building cut just one minute from their daily shower, that would be a savings of 1,125 gallons every month!
- A little drip may not seem like much, but a faucet that drips just five times per minute may be wasting more than 260 gallons per year.
Be sure to share this information with friends, family, roommates and your children as well. Remind anyone who lives with you to not leave the water running while they brush their teeth, which according to CalWater could save up to 70 gallons a month! Spread sustainability as far and as wide as you can. Remember the value of power in numbers!
Think Green, Live Green
These are just a few of the many ways you can think green to live green in your Redding or Chico apartment. Other avenues to consider are purchasing recycled and reusable materials, cleaning supplies, food, clothing, household items, etc, the list goes on and on.
Define what sustainability means to you, craft a vision for how to incorporate these values into your lifestyle, and stick with whatever is comfortable for you. However you decide to approach the art of sustainability, we hope this information and the resources provided will help you on your way to thinking and living green.
The Hignell Rentals blog is a great resource to reference for all of your apartment needs.