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Small spaces guide to green

This post originally appeared on the JustGreen Community website.

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 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, and no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.



Take the first step.

Start small. Be conscious of the impact your actions have on the environment and figure out what you can do to lessen the blow. Calculate, conserve, and offset.

For businesses, our Corporate Sustainability Plans can help you with your emission reduction goals.

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