Green Living in NYC: Make Your Apartment Eco-Friendly This Summer
Summer is the perfect time to make eco-friendly changes to your apartment. These green living tips are easy to implement, so try them all or just one. Either way you will make a positive impact on the environment.
Summer is the perfect time to make eco-friendly changes to your New York apartment. Think city living isn’t compatible with a sustainable lifestyle? Think again. These green living tips are easy to implement, and they’ll have a positive impact on both your home and the environment.
Purify Air with Plants
It’s a little scary to think about, but mold, bacteria, harmful gases, and other toxins contaminate the air we breathe every day. Plants are natural air purifiers that will beautify your apartment. Choose one of these 10 fuss-free house plants that clean the air for your home.
Image Source: Flickr/Ciera Holzenthal
Maximize Your A/C
New York summers are hot and humid, making air conditioning a must. Even so, it’s possible to conserve energy while keeping your home cool.
- Start by making sure your unit is in good shape. Check the filter and clean the vents.
- Turn off your A/C when you’re out. A cool apartment is nice, but leaving it on when you’re away is an expensive waste of energy.
- When you’re home, keep the thermostat to 78 degrees. According to Con Edison, every degree you raise it will increase your bill by 6 percent (in addition to impacting the environment).
- During the day, cover your windows with light-blocking curtains, which help keep your apartment naturally cool.
Unplug Unused Electrical Appliances
Toasters, chargers, TVs, and other electrical appliances draw energy even when not in use. Simply unplug these devices, and you’ll save energy.
Image Source: Flickr/John Douglas
Skip Plastic Water Bottles
Bottled water is convenient but wasteful. Manhattan tap water is completely safe to drink. Not convinced? Install a faucet filter or use a water filtration pitcher. Carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go, too.
Choose Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
The products we use to clean our homes contain chemicals and fumes that can be harmful to us and even our pets. Learn how to select safe cleaners. For example, fitness company Gaiam lists eight household cleaning agents to avoid. You can even make your own natural cleaning products — all you need is baking soda, vinegar, and lemon.
Pick a Better Light Bulb
Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out this year. If you haven’t already switched to energy-efficient bulbs, now’s the time to do it. Fluorescent bulbs have a reputation for providing unflattering light, but there’s another option. LED bulbs can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, plus their light is natural and flattering.They last so long you may never have to buy another light bulb again!
Image Source: Flickr/Anton Fomkin
Dispose of Toxic Waste Properly
Old cell phones, batteries, paint, and other everyday products contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment when improperly disposed. Visit NYC Recycles and learn how to dispose of these items safely.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
This saying has become a little cliched, but it’s still one of the best green living tips.
- Start by consuming less and purchasing products with minimal packaging. Take a reusable bag to the store. Buy from your supermarket’s bulk section and bring reusable containers to hold your purchases.
- Before throwing anything away, consider whether it might have value to someone else. If so, you can resell it online and make a little money!
- Finally, make sure you are recycling properly. In Manhattan, we can recycle paper, cardboard, metal, glass, plastic, and some bulky items. Take a minute to read about exactly what to recycle.
This summer, implement a few of these green living tips. Even small changes can improve your home life and benefit the environment.
Image Source: Flickr/James Callan