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Lead residents down a green path this Earth Day

As property owners, managers or leasing agents, you understand the need to conserve energy at your apartment community.  By installing energy-efficient appliances and windows and using eco-friendly alternatives for floors, countertops and paint, you are not only significantly reducing your carbon footprint, but also banking significant savings on energy costs.  If 10,000 owners of large apartment communities change to Energy-Star appliances, the energy saved could power each of your TVs for 1,640,625 years!  While the people on the property level are doing their part to protect the environment, we want to provide you with four sustainable tips you can share with your environmentally-friendly residents—leading up to Earth Day on April 22nd—that they can put into practice today.

1. Be a Savvy Shopper

Cut down on the amount of paper or plastic consumed by bringing a reusable shopping bag to the grocery store.  If eco-friendly shoppers forget their tote, ensure those plastic grocery bags get reused to line garbage cans or when scooping kitty litter.  Additionally, fuel and distribution costs can be reduced by shopping at local farmers’ markets instead of large chain grocery stores for produce. 

2. Kick the Bottled Water Habit
Americans use four million plastic bottles every hour – but only one in four is recycled.  Instead of reaching for bottled water, use a water filter on the kitchen faucet and fill up a non-leaching, lined aluminum SIGG bottle with filtered tap water.  If 10,000 people gave up their daily bottled water habit for a year, they could keep the weight of a small elephant from emptying into the waste stream.

3. Just Say No to Junk Mail
Junk mail is more than just annoying, it’s wasteful.  If everyone in the US reduced the junk mail they receive each week by an average of 10.8 pieces per person, nearly 100 million trees could be saved each year.  There are multiple websites where people can find online forms to remove their name from junk mail lists.

4. Use Power Strips to Avoid Phantom Load
Phantom load is the energy sapped by appliances when they are plugged in, but not turned on.  In the average home, this accounts for 40% of the energy bill!  Plug appliances into power strips to turn off your TV, DVD, stereo, and cell phone charger in one fell swoop.  If 10,000 people plug their cable boxes into power strips that are turned off when not watching TV, significant savings will add up to around $300,000 per year.

How do you conserve energy around your apartment community?  Do you get your residents involved?  If so, we’d love to hear what works and what may not have worked in the comments section below.

 If you have stories about how you conserve energy around your apartment community, or how you motivate residents to go green in their apartment, let us know in the comment section.  For more information, go to www.apartments.com/blog.

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