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Beginners Guide to Going Green: 4 Habits to Fill In the Gaps
photo courtesy of Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash
photo courtesy of Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash
Guest Blogger
Monday, Oct. 25, 2021

Did you know the fourth Wednesday in October is Sustainability Day? Environmental awareness days are a great reminder to celebrate the importance of caring for the planet and its resources. Where does a beginner start when it comes to sustaining our planet? Glad you asked! Doing our part begins in the comfort of home, learning to take actions that eventually become second nature.

While saving the planet by recycling or picking up trash on the street are great ways to help the community, you can also add a few green habits to your daily life and begin a more sustainable lifestyle. Here, I'm sharing four new habits that are helping me as I learn more about sustainable living.

1. Recycle This Not That

When you spot a blue or green bin in public, head that way, and toss recyclable items right away. If your Camden community offers recycling pick up (as most do), be sure to ask the Leasing Center for clear bags, and once it is full of green goodies, place next to the regular garbage for pick up. As a beginner, it’s helpful to learn a little about what is and isn’t meant for the recycling bin:

Recyclable items: Plastic bottles, paper, tin/plastic/aluminum cans, glass food jars, wine and liquor bottles, cardboard and empty cardboard-like boxes like soup cardboard and cake mix cardboard, and more here.

Non-recyclable items: Plastic grocery bags, plastic bottle caps, styrofoam, paint, batteries, bubble wrap, food or food-soiled paper. One thing I learned recently is that pizza boxes, and other to-go boxes with grease can do more harm than good for the environment, and can't be put in the recycling bin.

2. Minimalism: Keep it Simple

Keeping things simple calls for a clutter-free aesthetic. There is no need to have 250 reusable water bottles. Just having a few of your favorite reusable water bottles and mugs, and food storage containers makes for less waste going into the trash can or recycling bin. However, having the basics doesn’t call for a boring home. My fellow blogger, Laura shares tons of ideas to get you started equipping your apartment home with more sustainable items, from sleek storage solutions to cleaning products. Check out her great tips for upping your green game for good.

Open-concept kitchen with wood-style flooring, white quartz countertops, white shaker cabinets, gray subway tile backsplash, and stainless steel appliances

photo courtesy of Camden Copper Square

3. Use the Dishwasher

Now that you live a simplistic lifestyle and have a few reusable items, loading and unloading the dishwasher can be surprisingly manageable...unlike manually washing and drying your dishes. Every Camden apartment home is fully equipped with an energy-efficient dishwasher to help you use less water and get on with your day. To get the most out of the dishwasher, wait to run it until it’s full, and avoid the heat-dry feature to use less energy. You will earn your going green badge in no time.

4. Support Local

Consuming local goods will bring growth and happiness to your community. My suggestion, instead of heading to the grocery store the next time your fridge or pantry looks bare, grab your reusable bags, and get out into the community! Go to the farmers market, where you can purchase items like local honey, which is great for seasonal allergies, and in-season fruits and vegetables to add colorful and healthy foods to each meal. Bringing items into your home that have fewer harmful products for you and your four-legged friends is always a great option to take while keeping the environment in mind.

Farmers Market

photo courtesy of Camden Hillcrest in San Diego, CA

You’ve heard the old saying, practice makes perfect. While you’re a newbie at going green there’s no need to be perfect; just focus on building your new sustainable habits. Take these four tips and run with them. We only have one planet!

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