Going Green in A Small Space: Your Eco-Friendly Apartment or Condo

Have you recently moved into your first apartment? Countless hours spent slaving over “some assembly required” furniture, and about three dozen trips to the hardware store later… you’ve finally got a pad you’re proud to call home!

Perhaps you’re a recent college graduate, or simply live in a city where condo living is the norm. If you’re currently embracing the “good things come in small packages” mindset, we’ve got a few tips for finding and maintaining an eco-friendly existence – apartment style.

Look for a new/recently updated apartment: If you’re renting an apartment or condo, it’s not likely that you’re interested in investing in major changes such as upgraded appliances, insulation, or heating/air conditioning systems. You may want to consider searching for a new (or recently updated) apartment, complete with energy-efficient appliances and systems.

Choose an apartment/condo in an LEED certified building: Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certified buildings are internationally recognized for compliance with a strict set of environmental guidelines. LEED buildings set the standard for energy and water conservation, reduction of carbon emissions, indoor air quality and sensitivity to the impact of development on natural resources. LEED living is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint!

Do a thorough walk-through before you move in: If renting, before signing your lease, be sure you thoroughly inspect your apartment for things such as leaky faucets or running toilets, and request that your landlord repair these energy/water-draining issues. You should also ask that your landlord replace the air filters every few months.

Adjust the thermostat: One of the benefits of living in a small space is that it heats up/cools down faster than a larger home. Take advantage of this by turning the air or heat off/down when you leave the apartment for long periods of time. Be sure that your thermostat is set no higher than 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) in the winter, and no lower than 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) in the summer.

Think your apartment is small? Check out this trend that’s hitting some major cities – “micro-apartments.” These small spaces take the term downsizing to a whole new level! If you’re truly committed to living green (and minimalist), and cutting down on the effects of global warming, you may want to consider such a major (tiny) move!
Stay tuned for next week, when we’ll be providing a few more tips for eco-friendly apartment life! Have some green living tips of your own? We’d love to hear them! Let us know in the comments below or via Facebook and/or Twitter.

Resources:

http://www.livingbeyondgreen.com/what-is-leed/

http://www.forrent.com/tips/topic/go-green/environmentally-friendly-apartments

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