Although complex and oftentimes tiring, looking for a new apartment is also an exciting experience that represents a fresh chapter in your life. But what happens when that life is devoted to green, sustainable practices, and you wish to find an apartment that reflects those views as well? Thankfully, with the advancement of technology and innovations in construction and design, it’s now easier than ever to find an environmentally friendly apartment suited to a sustainable lifestyle. To that end, here are some of the most important aspects you should look for:
Sustainable building materials
Construction tends to create a vast amount of unnecessary waste while depleting raw material reserves. In order to avoid contributing to such a detrimental practice, opt for buildings and apartments that were constructed with more sustainable building materials, whether that means green concrete, recycled steel beams, or fixtures sourced from second-hand shops. It would also be wise to prioritize eco-friendly flooring, like bamboo, cork, and reclaimed hardwood, as it’s a much more sustainable option that adds to the biophilic design of a home. Don’t forget to ensure the apartment is properly insulated as well, along with an efficient heating and cooling system, to reduce potential greenhouse gas emissions.
No new house checklist can be complete without the essential home appliances we use every day. However, these electrical devices can be one of the biggest contributors to high energy consumption, which is why it would always be best to opt for apartments equipped with more efficient, energy-saving appliances. Whether it’s a washing machine, a dishwasher, or something as simple as a thermostat, make sure the appliance has an ‘Energy Star’ seal that ensures the product is certified, and ultimately more sustainable. Apart from saving valuable energy resources, such appliances will also be more cost-effective over time.
The importance of the location
Smaller living areas require less time, investment, and materials to build, which is why they are slowly becoming the most popular options in larger, more densely populated cities. For instance, you can find a serviced studio apartment for rent in nearly any metropolis around the world, located right in the heart of the city. This close proximity to all necessary amenities isn’t only the most convenient option for living, but also a greener solution, as it eliminates the need for cars as primary transportation options, which are known to be among the biggest environmental polluters.
Smart resource-friendly apartment features
An environmentally friendly apartment should also have water efficiency features as part of its construction. Check whether the plumbing is sound and in good condition, prioritize low-flow toilets over typical ones, and look for water-efficient taps and showerheads, as all of these aspects could help save valuable amounts of water. If the building has a mechanism for reusing rainwater, that’s an additional eco-friendly benefit. Similarly to water, ensure that the apartment is equipped with more energy-efficient lighting, as it could also help to add to your sustainability efforts.
Greener interior design aspects
Whether you prefer ornate oriental decor or a minimal Scandinavian approach, the interior design style itself isn’t as vital as the materials and features that were used. For instance, ensure that VOC-free paint was used to avoid unnecessary emissions, check whether bamboo, reclaimed wood, or other sustainable materials were used for furniture, and make sure there are enough larger windows in the apartment to allow for natural light throughout the day. All of these details ensure the builders had more sustainable practices in mind, while at the same time making a home look more expensive and attractive.
Eco-friendly communal apartment practices
The biggest and most impactful results can only be seen when the whole community is devoted to sustainable practices, instead of only one household. To that end, it would be wise to check whether the building makes any environmentally friendly efforts, such as providing separate recycling bins, compost in the garden, or even a carpool program that allows residents to commute together. What’s more, check whether the landlord or other management and services offer options for electronic payments, in an effort to reduce printed and mailed bills. Although they might seem small, all of these practices are incredibly beneficial for the planet, while also bringing the community together.
From smaller design details to bigger, more energy-efficient amenities, there are many aspects that make an apartment green and environmentally friendly. All you have to do is pay attention to detail and spend a bit more time looking for the right apartment, in order to find the best, most sustainable option for you.