Green Living: Reduce/Reuse/Recycle in Your Apartment

We’ve all heard the slogan: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Sometimes, however, it’s easier to throw an old newspaper or empty cans in the trash instead of a recycling bin. But remember, just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t recycle and be less wasteful. Take a look at these six tips and see how you can live greener in your apartment.

  1. Shop Smart

One of the best ways to be less wasteful is to shop smart. Plan your meals, make lists, and don’t buy unnecessary items, especially food products that can spoil. Before you buy anything, make sure you can and will use it. Before grocery shopping, eat a small snack to avoid shopping while you’re hungry, which can cause you to buy more food than you need.

  1. Clean with Green Products

Buy green cleaning products for your apartment, dishes, clothing, and even yourself that are made from natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals.

  1. Have Separate Bins

Designate a small plastic bin, garbage can, box, or reusable bag for each of your recyclable items: paper, glass, and metal. Take your bins a step further by labeling each bin to help ensure you and your guests separate items appropriately. Once you fill your bin, it’s easy to carry and unload it at a recycling center or your building’s or apartment complex’s recycling bins. Keep returnable cans and bottles in a separate bin and take them to your supermarket for refund.

  1. Eliminate Excess Paper

Go paperless on your bills by signing up to receive email notifications instead of paper bills. Unsubscribe from mailing lists, catalogs, coupons, and retail advertisements to avoid receiving mail that you can view online or by email. This conserves paper and helps avoid the clutter of piles of paper.

  1. Donate

Whether it’s clothing you no longer wear or you bought two bunches of bananas and won’t eat them, donate whenever and whatever you can. From shelters to fire departments and non-profit organizations to emergency room departments, there are people who welcome donated clothing, blankets, personal products, and even food. Instead of throwing something away, check first to see if you can donate it. Even if you think that your old frayed towels or old blankets have no life left, a local animal shelter will be happy to have them to keep puppies warm.

  1. Involve Your Neighbors

Ask your neighbors if they recycle, too. If so, create a system that works for everyone where you carpool or swap hauling full recyclable loads to eliminate multiple trips to a recycling center. If not, host an event where you encourage your neighbors to recycle by inviting them to bring their recyclable products to you to carry to a recycling center.

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Author My First Apartment

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Kalee Cowan is a graduate of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Rural Studies: Writing and Communication. She is a writer, a baker, and a customer service representative for an insurance agency in her South Georgia hometown. When she is not working, she is attending concerts, reading an always growing list of books, and spending time with her family. You can find her on Instagram and Pinterest.

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