Living sustainably can seem like a daunting task but starting with small, conscious changes can make a huge difference. Here are five ideas to get you started that go beyond turning off the lights and shutting off the water while you brush your teeth that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle!
Ditch the bottled water.
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Start bringing your own water bottle with you. In America alone, over 38 million water bottles go to landfills every year. If you typically use two water bottles a day, that is potentially over 700 water bottles you could keep from going to a landfill, just by bringing your own bottle with you. Select Camden communities even have water refill stations in their fitness centers. Saving the planet, while you break a sweat…sounds like a pretty good deal to us! You can also apply this to your daily coffee run, by bringing your personal to-go cup and asking the barista to use that instead of the disposable one.
Reduce the amount of energy you use daily.
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Only run full loads when you’re washing your clothes. Our Camden communities have energy and water-efficient washers and dryers. This helps reduce the amount of water, detergent and power in each load. You can also switch out your lamps with energy-efficient light bulbs and unplug any electronics that are not in use. When going out of town, adjust the A/C setting so that you aren’t heating or cooling an area that’s not being used. Newer Camden communities even have Nest equipment, so you can set your home temperature while you’re on the go – straight from your phone! These tips will also help keep your energy bills down, so it’s a win-win!
BYOB! – Bring Your Own Bags
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We’re talking about the sustainable version… bring your own bags (to the grocery store)! The type of plastic used in grocery bags and produce bags are not easily recyclable. They are also one of the most common debris found in the ocean and marine life often mistake them for food sources. Instead of relying on the plastic bags that grocery stores provide, opt for reusable bags. You can find some at your local Whole Foods, Kroger’s or Trader Joe’s, and purchasing these bags is easy; the challenge comes with remembering to bring them with you to the store. Make sure to keep them in an obvious, noticeable place that you will see on your way out the door or somewhere visible in your car.
Rethink your bathroom routine.
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The average person generates a lot of plastic waste during their hygiene routine. Reduce your waste by replacing items you use daily with more sustainable options. Replace your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo one, that you can compost at the end of its lifecycle. Use bars of soap instead of bottles, or even invest in brands that utilize aluminum, multi-use bottles for their shampoos and body wash that you can send back in for refills when you’re finished. We’re all familiar with the bars of soap you can use for your body, but there are also lots of options out there for shampoo and conditioner bars as well. If you wear makeup, ditch the disposable makeup wipes or cotton rounds. Instead, invest in reusable cotton or bamboo rounds, which you can wash with your clothes, and you use them for years to come.
Educate yourself about recycling in your city.
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Not all plastics are recyclable. Learn about the seven different types and ask your city which kinds they accept and can recycle, since each city is different! Camden makes recycling easy with our front door recycling pick up at most of our communities! Just make sure to clean your recyclables before you throw them in the recycling bin. Materials with food waste can ruin a whole batch of recycling. If you can’t recycle a container, try to get creative on ways to repurpose it! A plastic to-go container from last night’s UberEats order can become your “Tupperware” for lunch the next day.
Start with these five steps and slowly add on more. Before you know it, living sustainably will become a habit! You can learn more about reducing your energy waste!