Easy ways to go green on a college budget
Choosing to be independent and rent an apartment off-campus can be a great experience, filled with memorable activities and fun exploits. Yet, this stage of your life also comes with worries and more responsibilities; you’ll have to be extra cautious when it comes to monthly expenses as well as home safety and household chores. Here are a few tips to guide you to a happy tenancy while in college.
As they say, it’s all about location. Where you live will most likely affect your entire perception of college life. Try to find an apartment that’s close to your school or within close proximity to public transportation; walking or biking your way to classes will help you save some money and make new friends along the way.
In maintaining your own residence, you must be aware of all the rights and obligations associated to it. Most often, you are legally responsible for things that happen on your premises, including injuries suffered by guests stopping by your place. To keep yourself and your belongings protected, it’s often a good idea to purchase renters insurance. While your landlord may be sympathetic of your loss due to fire, theft or water damage, his insurance policy only covers the building itself. Your renter’s insurance on the other had should keep you protected against a series of mishaps such as smoke, lightning, explosion as well as personal liability (including liability provision for dog bites).
Go green! If you want to be a good steward of the environment and improve your way of life all together, take some time to review your daily habits.
Make sure you turn off the lights every time you leave the house. Unplug your cellphone, tablet or laptop chargers when they are fully charged to avoid wasting energy. Or plug all your devices into a “smart” power strip and turn it off at night. In addition to being eco-friendly, these simple actions will prove rather friendly on your pockets, too.
Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs. An Energy star qualified light bulb saves about $6 a year in electricity costs and can save more than $40 over its lifetime. In addition, a CFL uses about 75% less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb and lasts at least 6 times longer, studies show.
Furthermore, you could turn to local farmers markets for your everyday shopping. Not only will you be getting fresh, farm-grown produce and optimal flavors, you’ll be also contributing to saving Mother Earth by avoiding resources consumption for production and transportation processes.
Get thrifty! Use reclaimed or revamped furniture pieces to adorn your quarters. Antique shops and yard sales abound with precious gems that can help you spruce up your rental in no time. You could give your high-school desk new life by applying a fresh coat of nontoxic paint; refresh an old bookcase with some cool wallpaper; or make your own cushion or pillow cases from some nice old, clothes you no longer wear. It’s these personal touches that make a home unique and cozy. And your friends will be impressed by your eco-consciousness, too.