Sustainable living may seem like a lofty goal for those who live in condos and apartments instead of detached homes. Fortunately, there are several easy, cost-effective steps you can take in your condo to reduce your carbon footprint all year!
How to Save Electricity in a Florida Condo
Nobody enjoys paying their electricity bills each month, but reducing your electricity consumption helps both your wallet and the environment.
Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances
One of the best things you can do to reduce your electricity consumption is to purchase energy efficient appliances when they need replacing. Things like refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers, and more have become more and more energy efficient in recent years, and their reduced energy usage can pay for themselves in no time. Try to find appliances that are denoted with an Energy Star seal, or are listed on their website.
Choose an Efficient A/C
Speaking of appliances, anyone living in Florida knows that an air conditioner is a necessity to combat the heat and humidity that are present all year long. Not only can you purchase an energy efficient unit, you can also take a few extra steps to ensure your air conditioner keeps your home comfortable using the least amount of energy possible.
For starters, try to place your A/C in an area that is not in direct sunlight. Keeping your unit shaded and cool allows it to run using less electricity. An A/C also has to work extra hard when it's distributing cool air into a home with a lot of windows. Lowering your blinds drawing the curtains, especially during peak sunlight hours, can keep your home significantly cooler, giving your air conditioner a break.
Portable Solar Panels
Finally, if you are interested in trying more sustainable methods of gathering electricity, you can purchase portable solar panels online and in some stores. Many of these have USB ports directly on the panel, or they connect to a portable generator that you can use to charge your various electronics or power other devices.
Florida has no shortage of sunshine, and the initial investment on the solar panel equipment can help reduce your electricity bill and dependence on less sustainable forms of electricity, paying itself off in the long run too.
Utilize an Indoor or Patio Garden
Planting and harvesting food from your own garden is also one of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Relying less on trips to the grocery store to purchase goods that were shipped from all over the world is a wonderful way to save money on food costs and live a more green lifestyle.
Many avoid starting a garden in or near their condo because they, understandably, feel intimidated by all the tools and information that seem required to get a garden up and running. Fortunately, many fruits and vegetables are relatively simple to plant either in the ground if you're lucky enough to have garden space, or in a container that you can place on a patio or in your driveway.
Many gardeners find themselves with such an abundant bounty that they can share their spoils with neighbors and friends.
Composting to Recycle and Reuse Garbage
People who start gardens are also often interested in creating a composting system that allows them to use their food scraps to put valuable nutrients back into their gardening soil. Composting things like banana peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells keep them out of landfills, where they can give off harmful gases that negatively impact the environment.
Composting can be tricky in a condo, but it is far from impossible. Several companies make compost bins for indoor use that have special odor filters, allowing you to discard your food scraps without having to smell offensive odors. If you have no use for compost, but still want to avoid putting your food scraps into the trash can, some cities have public and private entities that either pick up your compost weekly or allow you to drop it off at your convenience. You can find some of these facilities on Literless.com.
Your Next Step
Living sustainably in a condo can take a bit of extra work, but many of these steps are one-time fixes that make a long term impact. Plus, these tips can not only help you live a more green lifestyle, they can also save you some green too!