A more sustainable lifestyle is easier to achieve than one might think! For instance, when we hear about “going green,” what comes to mind? Maybe installing solar panels or even planting to harvest your own vegetables? While those are good options, it might be challenging while living in an apartment. However, you can make slight changes in your everyday life to help the environment and live a more sustainable lifestyle. To celebrate Earth Day, here are a few simple ways you can start implementing a change.
Tip 1: Create your own cleaning products.
Some household cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. Make your all-purpose cleaner with natural ingredients for an eco-friendly approach to spring cleaning. For example, let orange peels sit in a jar with white vinegar for 7 to 10 days and then drain the liquid into a spray bottle. This will leave you with a great smelling, homemade, all-purpose cleaner.
(White vinegar cleans and deodorizes as well as most all-purpose cleaners. The recipe calls for mixing equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Use this solution to clean most areas of your home. The orange peels leave a bright citrus smell in your apartment.)
Tip 2: Change out your lightbulbs.
Switch out any standard or CFL light bulbs in your apartment for LED light bulbs, which last 50,000 hours longer than standard light bulbs and require only a fraction of the energy other light bulbs use.
Tip 3: Join a bike-sharing program.
Bike shares have become exceedingly popular in big cities. Bicycling for transportation has a minimal environmental impact and is a fantastic way to see your city and get fit at the same time. With a quick search on Google, you can see if your city offers a bike-sharing platform near your apartment.
Tip 4: Add plants to your apartment.
Houseplants not only freshen up your apartment décor but also improve indoor air quality and recycle carbon dioxide. We recommend starting with a snake plant. Not only is it a great air purifier, but it is extremely low maintenance and perfect for an apartment. Another great plant to have on hand is mint; the multi-functional plant is excellent for indoors and outdoors. Not only does it help with air purifying, but you can also use it in food or as a garnish.
Tip 5: Shop local.
There are so many reasons to shop at your local farmer’s market! Since farmers grow locally, they use fewer resources to get it to you. This results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which benefits the environment. Most vendors at local farmer’s markets harvest their produce the day before or the morning of the market. This makes fresh produce richer in vitamins and tastes better than fruits and vegetables from the store. When shopping at your local market, don’t be afraid to ask questions like, “When was this picked?” and, “Where is this produce sourced?” Pro Tip: Fruits like cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, honeydew, and pineapples are in season for spring.
When creating a sustainable lifestyle, it’s important to keep in mind that it does not have to be all at once. It starts with small steps that can make a big impact.
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