Going green in your apartment means living your life in the most environmentally-responsible way possible, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your comforts. Learn how to transform one of the most-used rooms in your apartment, the living room, into an example of eco-friendly living:
1 – DIY and Recycled Decor
One of the best facets of going green is that you’ll learn that recycling can refer to more than just separating your glass, aluminum and plastics from your trash. When it comes to decorating your apartment, look for things made of recycled materials. You’ll be surprised what you can find-rugs, furniture, pillows, etc.-that can look great in your living room while reducing the waste in landfill.
If you want to save money, make your recycled decor yourself. There are many ways to turn waste into art. Turn cans or jugs into vases and cardboard into picture frames and scrap old clothes to turn them into pillows to give your living room an eclectic decor.
2 – Keep the Thermostat Under Control
One of the largest sources of damage to the environment for which an individual is responsible is their gas and electricity usage-and air conditioning and heating make up a major part of that. In the summer, keep your thermostat set high (78 or higher) and in the winter, keep the thermostat set low (58 or higher). Heat is necessary to keep water pipes from freezing in the winter, but if you can, go without air conditioning in the summer. Use electric fans and paper fans instead or just cool yourself with cold beverages and light, breathable clothing. In the winter, you can use space heaters, blankets, layered clothing and warm beverages to reduce your dependence on the furnace.
3 – Keep Drafts at Bay
Warm drafts in the summer and cold drafts in the winter sneaking in through windows and under the door can undermine all of your work to keep the living room comfortable. You’ll be going green and reducing your air conditioning and furnace usage by covering the cracks underneath the door with a draft guard and by targeting the largest area through which the wrong temperature enters: the windows. In the summer, cover the glass with tinted window film and use light blinds to keep less heat from leaking in. In the winter, remove the tinted window film and put clear insulation film around the window panes. Replace the blinds with dark-colored blinds to retain heat.
4 – Shop Secondhand
What decor you can’t make yourself, you can “recycle” by making sure they don’t wind up wasting space in a landfill. When looking for furniture and decor for your living room, you’ll be going green by shopping at vintage stores, secondhand shops, rummage sales and through classifieds. You may find an eclectic choice that needs just a little fixing. You can make mismatched furniture go with each other by sewing your own matching coffee table and sofa covers.
If you start by going green in just one room in your apartment, you’ll see how easy it is to reduce your effect on the environment–and most of the time, save some money while you’re at it. With this example, you’ll soon want to spread the green lifestyle throughout your apartment.