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12 Ways To Live More Sustainably In An Apartment

We are all responsible for living in an environmentally friendly way, creating a positive environmental impact, and this starts at home regardless of where or what type of home we live in. We all want to learn how to live more sustainably, and for those living in an apartment, this can seem like more of a challenge. 

EBV is a sustainable focused apartment village that makes eco-living much easier! Designed and built with sustainability at the fore, every address has a 7.5-star average NatHERS rating and many achieve an operational carbon neutral building status. EBV is also a “20-minute neighbourhood,” meaning residents can walk to everything they need, removing the need for a car! Easy access to public transport and over 900 bike spaces also contribute to a greener lifestyle.

Read on to learn our 12 simple tips for how to live sustainably in an apartment and make your life a little greener today.

Boxes of different sorted recyclable materials


Start by aiming for a zero-waste lifestyle. Sustainable apartment living starts with reusing items, reducing consumption, and recycling wherever possible. To do this, consider the following:

  • Reuse – Reuseable water bottles, coffee cups and tote bags are a great start.  
  • Reduce Consumption: Living in an eco-friendly manner includes reducing consumption, so you create less waste to begin with. Have a left over night and enjoy the weeks leftovers (also a great budget tip), make a shopping list and buy only groceries you need.  Take 24hours to think about your wardrobe purchase- do you really need it!
  • Recycle – Create a recycling system: Is there a recycling facility in or near your apartment building? Determine where it is and which items it accepts, and work that into your disposal process. Separate recyclable items: Paper, bottles, cardboard, cans and other recyclables can be kept in separate bins for easy disposal. 

Recycling is a priority at EBV, and we dive deeper into this topic via our article on setting up your apartment for great recycling habits.

A light bulb with a chain being switched off

Energy Consumption

Another thing to reduce is energy usage in your apartment. Lighting steadily consumes a lot of energy, so switching off all the lights when not in use or using lamps in the evening instead of overhead lights can be a big help. 

Natural lighting in your apartment and cost-effective light bulbs (LEDs instead of halogen) are eco-friendly and energy-efficient methods that provide a bonus of a low electric bill. Getting in the habit of turning everything off at the powerpoint is also best practice.

Renewable Energy

As we mentioned, it’s tricky to pop solar panels on the roof when you live in an apartment building to create your own renewable energy. However, some ways around this may suit your situation, such as:

  • Setting up solar power in common areas
  • Buying renewable energy through your energy provider
  • Embedded electricity networks
  • Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)

EBV’s sustainable design initiatives make this easier for residents by including rooftop solar panels, water-efficient fixtures and fittings, double-glazed windows motion and daylight sensors as standard.

LED Lights

As we touched on above, LED lights are much more energy-efficient; at this point, everyone should have them. They use fewer watts and last ten times longer than fluorescents! In addition, they are cooler and more durable, making them an absolute no-brainer for your lighting option.

While switching to LED from the start may be a touch more expensive, you’ll save this money and more thanks to their longevity and low power draw. This is a change you should make in your apartment immediately!

Eco-Friendly Appliances

One of the ways to be more sustainable in an apartment that can be expensive to set up but will be better in the long run is switching to eco-friendly appliances. Fridges and air conditioners use a lot of energy, so check for an energy star rating to determine the most power-efficient options. This is another double-whammy: you help the environment and reduce your energy bill. 

Smart Energy Timers/Monitors are another great option to help to reduce energy consumption on appliances that you won’t be home to switch off. You will have more control over what devices are running and never forget to switch something off again!

Upcycled Furniture

Purchasing recycled or repurposed furniture instead of buying brand new from the many great second-hand stores down the road from EBV in Brunswick offers a bunch of benefits such as:

  • Less waste produced
  • Can find a great deal!
  • Can help prevent deforestation
  • You won’t have to wait for new stock to be ordered

We also think this is a great way to break away from the standard “Ikea look” and find something unique that you can DIY into an original piece that suits your interior design and personality.

Reduce or Cease Meat Consumption

Simply put, animal agriculture is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions. Here in Australia, animal agriculture has been responsible for around 50% of all greenhouse gases over the last 20 years. We require over 20 times more water to produce 1kg of beef than food like rice, grains, beans, and vegetables in Australia, according to a study by Vegan Australia. 

Add to this the fact that half a billion animals are bred, raised and killed in Australia every year for food (not counting trillions of sea animals), and we start to see that a plant-based lifestyle, which is easy, delicious and cost-efficient, could be an option to add on particular days or even full time!

daughter and mother cleaning home together and cleaning up and having fun

Clean with Green

Green cleaning products avoid the harmful chemicals on less-eco versions, which can be harmful to our health while contributing to water and air pollution. The local EBV wholefoods store offers plenty of plant-based and eco-friendly materials that will help you clean with care and reduce your meat consumption with ease. 

Some eco-friendly cleaning products include: 

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice

When you opt for these alternatives, you are not only protecting the environment but also your health. 

a faucet with a water drop

Reduce Water Consumption

Water is not an unlimited resource, and even though the earth is about water, clean water is limited. Conserving water is a great way to protect our ecosystem while also, once again, trimming down those utility bills. 

Some great ways to save water in your apartment include:

  • Brushing your teeth and not running the tap
  • Washing dishes and clothes with cold water rather than hot
  • Watering plants with rainwater (pop a bucket outside next time it pours)
  • Fix Leaking taps 

We must also be mindful of how long we spend in the shower; even shaving a few minutes off your routine can make a big water-saving difference!

clothes being hung up on an indoor clothes rack to dry

Drying Your Clothes

Avoid using a dryer and opt for a drying rack or clothesline for a more environmentally friendly option. Clothes dryers can be one of the most energy-draining appliances in the home, especially if you are not using an energy-efficient model. 

Air drying clothes instead of using the dryer is preferable, and you can get creative with where you hang them around your apartment. We recommend chairs, bed heads, cupboards and anywhere near a window that will allow those beautiful sun rays to help the task along.

A close up of a woman scraping vegetable sraps into a compost bin

Compost Food Waste

Food waste in landfills significantly impacts climate change as it releases a gas called methane, which contributes significantly to global warming. Composting is an excellent way of avoiding this and is the process of naturally recycling organic materials to enrich soil. Composting speeds up the decomposition process, and there are various ways to do this in an apartment. 

The main options include:

  • Worm composting: Using worms to recycle food scraps
  • Electronic composting: A fast, efficient, and odourless method that uses heat to decompose food waste
  • A community garden: Compost plots in community gardens allow you to compost with your neighbours

We’ve put together our top tips for composting in an apartment to help you successfully avoid food waste.

a woman waters dwarf cherry tomatoes and micro greens

Grow Your Own Food

Yes, growing your own food is possible in an apartment (especially if you have a balcony)! We deep-dive into this topic to teach you how to grow vegetables in your apartment via this article, but you’ll find many fruits and vegetables that will survive indoors, creating a fun addition to the apartment that saves you from buying food in packaging.

The rooftop garden at East Brunswick Village allows residents to live a more sustainable lifestyle with plenty of planter boxes for residents to grow and harvesting their own fruit and vegetables. 

Sustainable Living, Apartment Style

Everything discussed above is just some basic tips to get you started, but you can dive deeper into this topic with our sustainability blog section for more tips and ideas. East Brunswick Village encourages and assists all residents in living a more sustainable lifestyle for the sake of the planet and ourselves!

East Brunswick Village (EBV) is one of the inner north’s largest and most exciting urban renewal projects – located just 6 kilometres from Melbourne CBD with everything you need just a short walk away. Looking for a new apartment to call home? Register your interest in EBV today.

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