So what do we do when we want to live as gently as possible, but are thwarted by where we have to live?!?!
Let's break it down:
We know what we do have control of: In our own apartments we can use gentle, plant-based cleaners; separate and recycle everything that your building's waste management will take; wash our clothes with cold water and use a drying rack to dry; use power-strips and unplug or turn off all electronics when not in use; take shorter showers and don't always wait for the water to get hot-hot-hot before we use it.
And we know what we don't have control of: If the building chooses to recycle or compost; the types and conditions of appliances; the kinds of cleaners and building materials used.
If you live in LA and your building doesn't recycle, let your building manager know that it is now COMPLETELY FREE to get pick up for recyclables. Even offer to make the call and set up the appointment if they can't seem to be bothered. Here's the website to get you started:
Do you want to compost? You can do it in your apartment! Us LA-ers are fortunate that most of us have balconies or porches. We purchased a compact composter and it lives on our tiny balcony taking up only about 2'x2' of space. The key to getting food to compost in a tiny composter is....WORMS!!!! These little beasts will help you go through trash 80% faster than just letting it sit in a composter. Here is where we got our worm factory:
You can buy worms by the pound at many farmer's markets or go to the following website:
|This is what we have on our balcony|
If you don't have ANY outdoor space at all, the worm factory can live in doors. But to be completely honest, there is no way I would ever do this. When my friend Katie found out I had a worm factory, she said the following to me:
"My sister has one of those...It's the closest thing I've ever seen to a real-life horror movie."
Until we all the the money or ability to own our own home, with which we can live as green as possible, maybe let's look at apartment living as a way to share our views and educate our neighbors (without being that person who lectures so much that people avoid you when they see you in the laundry room).
totally depressing environmental fact:
the number one cause of landfill waste is fast-food containers...check this out....
totally inspiring environmental tip:
when you compost, you are exposing your food scraps to air, which help the food biodegrade without any atmosphere-hurting methane!!