Anyone can go green, no matter what type of home they live in, including an apartment. Many ways of living green are now seen as routine, such as: recycling, using compact fluorescent light bulbs, limiting air conditioning use and turning off appliances when not in use.
While living green is definitely about taking action, it’s also a mindset. How can you think more green? Ask yourself some questions:
- Do I live close to my job? As an apartment resident, you have some big advantages over home owners. As your job changes location, you can move much more easily! Not only can you save time and money commuting, you can help your community’s overall air quality. Plus, if you walk or bike to work, you’ll be more fit too!
- Do I want to get my hands dirty? Many renters think that gardening is only for homeowners, but that’s not the case. You can start an indoor herb garden or check with your landlord; they may be willing to let you start a garden outside your building. You can invite neighbors to participate. It’s a great way to create a sense of community.
- How can I get more involved? Sometimes people unfairly think of renters as not connected to their community. You can prove them wrong! Your neighborhood probably has a community organization that promotes quality of life and works on environmental issues. If not, you could propose a project that promotes sustainability.
There are always more ways to go green. Think and challenge yourself! Share your discoveries with friends and neighbors.
Chad Skally has a background in Forestry and Ecosystem Management and has spent the last 10 years applying eco-friendly concepts to apartment building management and maintenance.
Amy Pickett lives and works as a property manager in St. Paul. She just moved into an apartment closer to her job and started her first herb garden. Contact them at LiveGreenApts.com.
The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. Process Media 2008. Online at www.processmediainc.com and www.homegrownrevolution.com.
World Changing: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century by Alex Steffen editor. Abrams 2006.