12 Ways to Green your Apartment
Make your condo more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
Easy ways to make your condo more environmentally friendly and efficient
Buying a condo doesn’t mean your eco-living efforts are at the mercy of contractors and your condo board; there are many ways you can effect change both in your own home and in the building. You will find that most residents are eager to live a greener life, especially when those changes are able to save them money too.
Grow your Own Organics
It doesn’t get more locally grown than a rooftop garden on your condo building. It’s easy to put in some raised-bed gardens that are able to supply a surprising amount of fresh, organic vegetables and fruit.
If a rooftop garden isn’t an option, your balcony, window, wall or windowsill can all provide herbs, greens and other produce. If you are lacking warm, sunny spots, utilize grow lights to provide the sunlight you need.
Get a Smart Thermostat
Why heat an empty home? Smart thermostats heat and cool your home only when you are there. Utilize a programmable thermostat to turn your heat down when you are at work or asleep and turn it up just before you get home so your condo is always cozy.
Taking Care of Transport
Enlist the help of your fellow residents to reduce the carbon footprint of your commute. Install bike storage facilities that make biking safe and easy or invite a bike rental company to install some units outside your building.
Offer an email service that allows residents to carpool or share rides for shopping and longer trips.
Green your Laundry
When washers and dryers in your building need replacement, opt for Energy Star appliances that use less electricity. Recommend healthy alternatives to toxic dryer sheets and encourage the use of biodegradable laundry detergents. Encourage residents to clean the lint from the dryer filter after each use to increase efficiency. Periodically inspect your external dryer vent to ensure it’s not clogged.
Set up a Sharing Depot
Use your common space to share tools, kitchen gadgets, games, sports equipment, magazines, books and newspapers. This will save you money as you won’t have to buy your own and it helps promote a community feel in your condo building.
There are many ways to reduce your energy consumption with just a small investment. Find out which home improvements will garner the biggest savings with the Scotiabank Home Energy Savings Calculator.
Caulk any gaps in your building envelope to prevent the loss of conditioned air, paying special attention to electrical and plumbing outlets and the areas around doors and windows.
Replace your lights with energy-efficient bulbs to reduce energy consumption.
A ceiling fan can be very effective in distributing conditioned air evenly throughout the apartment which can save money on heating and cooling.
Ask your power company about supplying your condo building with green power like solar, geothermal, biomass or wind energy.
Install Water-Saving Fixtures
A low-flush toilet and low-flow showerhead can greatly reduce the amount of water you use in your home. Don’t run the water when you wash the dishes, but fill the sink to wash and rinse efficiently.
Your province offers rebates from some of the energy-saving improvements you make. Find out which ones you are eligible for here.
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