When most people think about sustainable living, they imagine lots of overhead cost and time spent hand-washing and home-making everything in their house. In actuality, there are really easy switches you can make in your Gainesville apartment that could save you money and time in the long run. We've compiled a short list of our favorites.
Recycling is definitely the oldest trick in the book, but with reason. Recycling is a great start to living eco-friendly because it reduces pollution caused by waste as well as greenhouse gasses from landfill sites. And to make it easier, the City of Gainesville has a mandatory commercial recycling ordinance, meaning recycling is accessible to most apartment and condo residents. To find Gainesville apartments with "green efforts" simply use the Swamp Rentals green search criteria.
Even if your devices are off, they could be zapping energy when they're plugged in. Cut down on unnecessary energy by unplugging any devices you aren't using. This can also help keep you from accruing utility overages if you are living in an all-inclusive apartment with a utility cap.
Less Plastic Water Bottles
Florida summers can be quite humid, which means hydrating is a must. But instead of reaching for plastic water bottles all summer long, consider buying a reusable water filter and keeping it in the refrigerator. And between classes, you can refill your water bottle at any of the numerous refill stations on campus.
Go Green Shower Curtain
Traditional shower curtains have a PVC coating, which contain gases that disrupt hormones. Alternatively, organic shower curtains are washable, meaning you can cut down on mold and dangerous gases
Clean Up Your Cleaning
When it comes to washing clothes, there's a lot of energy consumption and water waste with traditional washers and dryers. While the most eco-friendly option would be nixing them completely, it's not the easiest appliance to go cold turkey on. So to ease into sustainability, we recommend washing clothes with cold water and using a drying rack or clothes line instead of the dryer. If your apartment in Gainesville has a washer and dryer, consider reaching out to the apartment community manager to ask about the appliances' sustainability features.
Most people tend to leave the water running while they wash their dishes. Instead, try purchasing large metal tubs and filling them with water and soap for all your dishes. You can even pick up an eco-friendly, biodegradable soap. Like this one from sustainable cleaning brand Shaklee. When you're done, you can dump the excess water on your plants, since the soap is completely natural and biodegradable. And if your Gainesville apartment has a dishwasher, consider skipping the wash every once in a while and hand-washing your plates in the same basin.
DIY Natural Cleaning Products
Instead of purchasing cleaning products from the store, consider cutting down on plastic, water pollution and cost by making your own all-purpose cleaner. This recipe
from Apartment Therapy calls for mixing "½ cup vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda into ½ gallon water." You can use it for removing shower stains, bathroom fixtures, mirrors and windows.