Would you like to lead a more sustainable life, but don’t know where to start?
It’s never too late to rethink your habits and make some changes to help save the planet! Implementing these 5 tips around your Village House apartment help make a difference!
Buy used furniture and appliances
When you need to get a chair, blender, table, or any other item for your home, consider buying it used. Buying second-hand items are one of the best ways to help the planet. Many of the items donated to recycle shops and thrift stores are never bought and end up in a landfill. By purchasing used items, you’ll extend their life and keep them from being discarded. Additionally, you will reduce the demand for new products. Producing any item carries an environmental footprint. Making anything – from bedsheets to refrigerators – requires resources like water, electricity, and oil. When the items you purchase are shipped to stores or your home, they further increase their environmental footprint. Reducing the demand for new products means less need to be made and fewer resources are consumed. To help save the planet, hit up your local thrift store before going to the department store. You might also be able to save some money.
Get a water filter for your tap
Buying a water filter for your tap will help reduce the amount of bottled water you buy. Bottled water is harmful to the planet because producing plastic bottles is resource-intensive. It takes three times the amount of water a plastic bottle contains to produce it. It takes more than water to produce plastic water bottles. The production process also requires a lot of oil. In addition, not every plastic water bottle is recycled, and many end up in landfills. It’s best to start using refillable water bottles. However, you shouldn’t drink straight out of the tap.
While tap water itself is safe to drink in Japan, few Japanese people drink it unless they have a filter. This is because there are many water supply pipes that contain lead. The government is working to replace these pipes, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Get yourself a water purifier that attaches to your tap. You can cut back on bottled water consumption without having to worry about the pipes that supply water to your home.
Use eco-friendly cleaning products
Many household cleaning products are filled with toxic chemicals that are bad for you and the environment. When the chemicals in cleaning products find their way down your drains and into the water supply, they can harm aquatic life. Inside your home, they can cause skin irritation, headaches, and other issues. Chemical cleaning products are particularly harmful to young children and pets, due to their small size and tendency to touch (and even lick!) many surfaces. To protect your home, family, and the earth, switch to eco-friendly cleaning products. Some natural cleaning products sold in Japan include Sonett’s All-Purpose Cleaner, Orange X, and Koala Eco. Some Western brands of eco-friendly cleaners, such as Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, are also available.
Get some houseplants (or balcony plants)
Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This means that having houseplants results in fresh, highly oxygenated air. If you place the plants on your balcony, you’ll be helping to improve the air quality outside. Plants also release water into the air, increasing the humidity. We all know how hot and humid Japanese summers can be, so it might be best to move your plants outside during the warmer months.
However, they can be a great way to counteract the dry winter air, which is exacerbated by running the heater. Plants do more than add oxygen and humidity to the air. They also make the air cleaner. Plants can remove up to 87% of chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air. Modern buildings tend to trap these sorts of chemicals inside. Freshen up the air in your home with a few houseplants. If you worry about the survival of plants in your apartment, we have a blog article on the easiest indoor plants for your home, where you can learn about the best low-maintenance plants and find out which one might be suitable for you.
You can’t have an eco-friendly home unless you implement some energy-conserving methods. One way you can conserve energy is by purchasing energy-efficient appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators. Eco-friendly appliances are often pricier than their less environmentally friendly counterparts, but they’ll lower your electricity bill and help you save money in the long run. You can also purchase eco-friendly light bulbs. As awesome as it is to switch to greener appliances, it’s still better to limit how much you use them. Insulate your home with carpeting and curtains to use the heater less in the winter. Wait to do laundry until you can run a full load. By combining green technologies with eco-friendly habits, you’ll be able to make great strides towards protecting Mother Earth.
So, these are 5 steps that you can take to live more sustainably. We hope these tips are helpful, and applicable in your everyday life, but remember, nobody needs to be perfect. It is recommended to take one step at a time and slowly shift towards an eco-friendlier lifestyle. The planet will thank you!
As we saw, living sustainably can also help you save money. If you would like to be even more economical, you might consider Village House for your next rental apartment! Village House has over 100,000 low-cost units in 1,000 locations in 47 prefectures throughout Japan, with rent starting from 20,000 yen!