Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sustainability In Condo-living

You don’t have to live in a 'green' condo to be eco-friendly. While condo-living might lack the actual nature scenes and greenery we often associate with eco-friendly lifestyles, under the right circumstances, it can be quite the sustainable choice. 

Go for CFL (compact fluorescent light) or better yet, LED (light-emitting diode) as lighting choices for their longer life and lower power requirements.

Environmentally responsible developments touting green design are still few and far between, but that doesn't mean that residents can't opt for such a lifestyle in their high-rise apartment buildings. 

So how is condo-living an example of sustainability? By meeting the most basic tenet of a sustainable lifestyle, which is: to consume less. Just by shared use of space, from walls to common areas, an apartment building or condominium already meets two sustainability design requirements: sustainable use of land and energy efficiency. 

In general, a single-family house has a bigger carbon footprint than a condo unit. However, that does not automatically make the latter an all around greener choice. One can find many problems relating to energy efficiency in condominiums, especially in older buildings. 

The good news is, there are ways to improve and make the most of a building’s systems. Even without going to extreme or expensive measures, a condo-dweller can go green. 

Opt for energy efficient appliances. All you need to do is look for the Energy Star label and you can be assured that the appliance meets the energy efficiency standards.

Typical solutions address energy consumption in the form of lighting fixtures and appliances, and water conservation. The standard advice usually includes the following:

  • Go for CFL(compact fluorescent light) or better yet, LED (light-emitting diode) as lighting choices for their longer life and lower power requirements.
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  • Replace standard fixtures with low-flow versions, which can include faucets, showerheads, and toilets. Many of these products now feature the WaterSense label that certifies their water efficiency.
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  • Opt for energy efficient appliances. All you need to do is look for the Energy Star label and you can be assured that the appliance meets the energy efficiency standards. This is particularly important for major appliances such as refrigerators, washers and driers, and air conditioners.

Wherever you live, remembering sustainability’s three Rs - reduce, reuse, and recycle - will keep you on the eco-friendly track. And, taking the above steps for condo-living will confirm that it, too, is an environmentally conscious choice, even far away from the great outdoors.  


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