Happy Plastic Free July, Kappi Warriors! We're so thrilled to see so many of you out there absolutely reducing your plastic-waste each and every day. It is certainly not easy to do in today's society!
The great thing about PFJ is that you're in total control of what you challenge yourself to give up. It doesn't have to be *literal* in every sense - although that's amazing if you can take it literally. We know that there are plenty of uncontrollable factors out there that effect our decisions and one of those is where you live. Up until recently, we were living in an apartment and this can limit and control what environmental choices you can and can't easily implement in your life.
So! We wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our favourite eco tips and swaps for Apartment Living.
~ Swap out those lightbulbs!
This was one of the first things we did when we started on our waste-free journey all those years ago.
Lights are the biggest energy consumers in household - can you believe they are responsible for more than 40 percent of the average household energy bills?! Home appliances also consume energy but that's a task for another day.
~ Change your shower head
This one's even renter friendly too! We love this one because saving water is great for the planet and it'll also save you money on your water bills! Double win. Head to Bunnings and find a new shower head with a better water star rating (most are under $50) and install it with the help of a Youtube video (seriously it's that easy).
~ Recycle. (Properly, that is)
Living in an apartment building can give us some major gripes. Thin walls are the truest evil. They always lack proper storage. You can't hang anything without approval from landlords... Want to hear our biggest, most frustrating pet peeve about apartment living though? When your neighbours don't know how to recycle.
We've moved 3 times in the past 2.5 years, and every single time we've discovered soft plastic (like plastic bins) in the recycling bins. Over and over. This is really sad for us, because that can contaminate bin-loads of recyclable materials, meaning that entire bin of rubbish is going straight to landfill. Don't get us wrong - we know our Recycling Systems in Australia need a lot of work and education. If recycling is important to you though, why not teach those around you how to do it properly? Simply make some signs for communal areas, or door-knock around your complex. Lots of recycling mistakes are simply a result of misinformation - it's highly likely they're not here to watch the world burn, so let them know (kindly, of course).
If global food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, after the USA and China. Composting your food scraps and green waste is an excellent way to reduce your waste footprint and make use of what you already have!
Although your food scraps and organic waste will eventually break down if sent to landfill, it does so at a much slower rate. When biodegradable waste is sent to landfills, there isn't enough oxygen for it to break down at a normal rate, meaning that methane and greenhouse gases are created and expelled into the atmosphere.
We tell you exactly how you can do it, no matter what your living situation is here
~ Avoid the heater
Save electricity! There are quite a few ways to stay nice and cosy this winter, without racking up a huge power bill. Our favourite? Grab a hot water bottle! Seriously - they stay warm for *so* long and will keep your body warm all day long.
You could also invest in thermals - UNIQLO have some really affordable options. Despite what you might think, you don't need to be going to the snow to pull them out of the closet. They're a great way to lock all that body heat in, right where you want it! Way better than wearing four jumpers too.
Swap to thicker curtains if your apartment isn't very well insulated. This will keep the heat in, and the cold out too!
~ Check your appliances' energy star rating
If you're like us and choose to buy second hand, you might be in for a bit of a shock... Don't get us wrong - we would always rather buy second hand than buy something from a store. But sometimes, it can be better for the planet to invest in quality appliances.
Did you know that almost 25% of your electric bill may be from the fridge alone? eep! Keep those fridge doors closed while you're at it!