If you live in an apartment and are environmentally conscious, you may be disappointed over the fact that you can’t install solar panels, solar water heater, rainwater harvesting or composting systems. But did you know that living in an apartment can actually be greener than living in an independent house?
How Is Living In An Apartment Greener?
1. Less Is Green – Smaller space means lesser energy is required to light and air-condition the space, lesser water is required to clean the house. High rises are also well ventilated and lighted, so less energy is spent that way.
2. Sharing Is Green – As you share a lot of common places such as the garden, terrace, parking lots, you are effectively using lesser space and material for the same things.
3. Sewage Treatment Plants – These are installed in most apartments which filter the waste water by bacterial digestion and produce water that can be used for gardening and other non-potable activities. It is mandatory by law in most places.
What Green Things Can I Set Up In My Apartment?
Apart from the normal plugging out, using energy efficient appliances, saving water as applicable for standalone houses too, you can do the following exclusively in apartments:
1. Balcony Garden – You can have beautiful flowers, plants or even vegetable and herb garden in your balcony. People have done so in less than 20 square feet too. You can place indoor plants that purify the air around you. Place small hanging indoor plants on your window or even your bathroom skylight and see how your place feels fresher.
2. Feed Birds In Your Balcony For High Rises – One advantage of high rises is that birds can easily come up to your place. Place grains or a tub of water at a particular time of the day and see pigeons and crows coming in every day. My content partner Debolina had been doing this for almost five years and hundreds of pigeons used to visit her balcony every single day, at the same time by the clock! Birds are gradually reducing in numbers due to lack of habitat. This is one way to bring them back, which is also extremely essential to our ecosystem.
3. Carpool With Your Neighbours – Since you have a lot of neighbours, you can always find people in your society who are travelling in the same direction as you are. Car pool with them to work or other places, save money and reduce pollution and congestion in your city. You can sign up for a car pool app or use a WhatsApp group for this.
4. Make Changes In Your Building – Rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling, waste segregation, solar or wind power is more affordable and convenient to implement if the entire community does it instead of one individual. Rainwater can be easily used in the gardens and for washing cars. Zero liquid discharge can be done in apartments more conveniently than in individual houses. Make a switch to organic sewage treatment plants. A big composting machine can be installed in the common area where every home can dump their organic waste and the same compost can then be used in the community garden. The Delhi government is unveiling a plan which will let apartment dwellers install solar or wind power on the top of their building and share the energy generated from it. You should convince your society members to implement these. The per-head cost will be very low.
5. Recycle Together – You can set up recycling bins for every type of waste, one for glass, one for metal, instead of just wet and dry bins. Everyone from the apartment can dispose their waste accordingly, and a recycler can come and take the entire thing in bulk. The money can be used in lowering society maintenance costs.
Spread the word about going green during society meetings or hold sessions in your common area, your reach will be more. Let us know if you have implemented other ideas.