Canada's Condominium Magazine

How I greened up my condo, and saved money

Member post by Mike DeFelice

Moving to a new city and buying a condominium has been an experience of a lifetime. The new surroundings are wonderful and my neighbors are all very friendly. Everything is great, but the air pollution in the city is something I am not used to. Coming from a more suburban area, I find the city air is a little more smoggy, which is to be expected. This had me thinking of ways that I can go a little more “green” in my new condominium. I really don’t have the space for something drastic like solar panels. However, I did come up with some very inexpensive ways to reduce my impact on the environment. While the initial costs were minimal, I am actually starting to save a little more each month as well.

Going green has actually been a fun and very educational experience. Instead of adding to the problem, I am able to do my own part to ensure my existence has less of an impact on the environment. I started by doing research on various ways to go green without spending a lot of money. The move has left me a little strapped for money, so cheap alternatives were essential. I started by doing the following:

Replaced My Light Bulbs: Traditional light bulbs account for 25 per cent of a home’s energy usage. This made them my first priority in going green. However, I had a hard time deciding whether LED or Compact Fluorescent light bulbs were better. The LED bulbs were more expensive, but lasted 2 – 4 times longer than the CFL bulbs and are more energy efficient. There was also the factor that the CFL bulbs contain mercury. I decided to pay the extra price for the LED bulbs and started replacing them slowly. I started with the areas of my condo that I used more often. This allowed me to make an impact as quickly as possible.

Water Filter: The water in my condominium is great for showering, but I still prefer filtered water for drinking. I used to go through a case of water very quickly, and since my city does not require recycling, I neglected to recycle them properly. This meant all of my plastic bottles would be sitting in a landfill for a very long time. I decided that buying a water filter was much more economical. Not only was the water just as clean, but I was also helping the environment and saving money as well.

While these might be small steps, they have allowed me to save money and reduce my imprint on the environment. The next step for me is to figure out how I can make my life in my condominium even less taxing on the environment. I am contemplating installing a water-saving showerhead in my master bathroom and if it works out well, I will install one in my second bathroom as well. Every little bit counts, and it really doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, changing just a few light bulbs in your home can make a big difference.

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