It’s hard to go green when your condo unit is in the middle of a business district, such as in Makati or Bonifacio Global City. But while your community may not necessarily have the greenery or the natural scenery most “eco-friendly” condominiums boast of, it’s never impossible to be environmentally responsible in your own little way.
In fact, by living in a condominium unit, you have already met the most basic tenet of sustainability, i.e., less consumption. By sharing land space and resources with the rest of your neighbors in your community, you contribute to the conservation of energy and the sustainable land use.
However, there are a lot of other things you can do to advocate sustainability, even in high rise living:
Let the sunshine in
Replace dark and heavy curtains with sheer and light ones. This not only gives your condominium depth and an illusion of space, but it also lets more natural light in. When you have more natural light in, you’d be less likely to turn on any lights during the day, thus saving you heaps on energy.
If your bank offers e-statement options or online billing, sign up for one. This helps lessen paper consumption, thus lessening the need to cut more trees.
Segregate your trash
Segregate trash according to the following:
- Recyclable waste – Aluminum or tin cans, glass or plastic bottles, disposable plastic utensils, and cardboard boxes.
- Biodegradable waste – food scraps, vegetable or fruit peels, seeds and bones, and dead plants.
- Trash with human or animal anatomical waste – used sanitary napkins and tampons, dirty diapers and used tissue.
NOTE: Ask your property manager for any recycling initiative within your condo community.
Instead of throwing everything in the trash bin, why not make something out of recyclable waste? Empty water bottles can make excellent pots for your herb garden, and your kids can definitely get a kick out of crafting night lights out of empty bottles and glow-in-the-dark paint.
Unplug all electronic devices when you’re not home
A plugged in TV or computer still consumes energy, even when it is powered off. Reduce energy consumption even further by unplugging electronic devices or appliances before leaving your home.
Switch to CFL or LED light bulbs
CFL and LED light bulbs not only have longer life spans, but also require less power compared to their predecessors.
Replace old water fixtures with low-flow versions
This includes all showerheads, faucets and toilets. Low-flow fixtures use just enough water to be effective, hence, significantly reducing water wastage. Look for fixtures with the WaterSense label for water efficiency certification.
Replace old appliances with newer and more energy efficient ones
Start with your air conditioning unit. An old air conditioning unit with an EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) of 7 or lower tends to consume more energy than the newer models with an EER of 10. While newer models come with a heftier price tag, it can save you a lot on electricity bills in the long run.