Did you watch Leonardo DiCaprio take home his first Oscar? He asked you, yes you, to do something. In his articulately flawless speech, he told the world that “climate change is real” and we should not “take this planet for granted.”

As much as you were touched by Leo’s sincere appeal, you look around your condo and think: “Where can I plant those trees?” Green living is such a romantic concept. Celebrities who speak so passionately about it make it even more so. But sometimes, when you belong to a group of urban dwellers living in a small condo for rent, you find it hard to start your eco-journey. You wonder: “How can I live a green condo lifestyle with the space that I got?” Well, it is your lucky day because today we tell you: it’s never about the space.

There are a lot of eco-friendly ideas that renters can try in their condos. It is a matter of knowing what to do and having the will to do it consistently. Here are environment-friendly activities for renters in Philippine condos that you can actually do and even have fun doing.

Let there be one light

Let there be one light

Photo courtesy of Stefen Steinbauer via Unsplash

Condos for rent in the Philippines come in studio, loft, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and other designs. The kitchen, living area, and dining area are usually in a common or shared space. Do you really need a dramatic lighting for each? Stay green by using just one lighting feature for common areas. And also, make sure to use LED bulbs. Not only do they produce more light, they also last longer. For over 50,000 hours, an LED bulb would only consume 500KWh as opposed to regular incandescent bulbs that consume 3,000KWh for the same number of hours. Aside from helping you cut down your energy consumption, LED technology also help you do your duties to the environment as they save 300 pounds of carbon dioxide every year.

No more sleep modes

Most of you are probably aware that putting appliances on standby or sleep mode are not exactly doing Mother Earth and your electric bill a favor. However, a lot of condo dwellers are still guilty of this energy-consuming habit.

Break that habit now. An article on Rappler says 75% of electricity consumed at home are from electrical appliances that are left on standby modes and or are unplugged. Some call this phantom load or vampire load because they literally suck power. If you still can’t grasp the impact of phantom load, the article also claimed that if 10 out of every mobile phone are immediately unplugged after charging, the energy saved can provide the basic electricity needs of 60,000 homes for a full year.

Set up a living room…outside

When we say outside, of course we don’t mean a huge porch, just a regular balcony. It is good that major developers, such as DMCI condos for rent, designed all their units with balconies. All you need is a simple table and chair set-up. Accessorize the balcony with potted and hanging plants, pillows, and even a mini-bar for late-night catch-up sessions. By spending more time outside, you save energy and also get to breathe natural air. You can have breakfast at sunrise and dinner at sundown in the balcony and enjoy some quality family time.

Grow an indoor garden

Grow an indoor garden

Photo courtesy of Lucas Alexander via Unsplash

Among the environment-friendly activities you can start in your condo is trying to grow something. You won’t be able to plant fruit-bearing trees but a herbal garden in your kitchen is completely doable. You must also start bringing in some indoor plants in your condo to not only give a more vibrant vibe but also clean stale indoor air as plants are natural air filters for pollutants. Most indoor plants also do not require expertise  and are very easy to maintain. Do not worry about space because indoor plants come in different sizes. Just remember to take advantage of sunny spots in your condo where plants could thrive.

Most condo dwellers are also professionals who are always stressed at work. You would be glad to know that several studies have shown that spending time in nature, like having plants around you, reduce stress levels and provide tension relief.

Get serious about recycling

Get serious about recycling

Photo courtesy of 9355 via Pixabay

The problem with the idea of recycling is that homeowners agree with it but they don’t buy it. Sure, maybe you once transformed empty water bottles into storage containers but where’s the follow through?

Get serious about reusing and recycling things. There are a lot of eco-friendly crafts that the entire family can do on weekends. Turn recycling into a fun family affair by asking kids to collect raw materials around the house and assisting them to do their projects. Pick one project every week. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be more consistent. There are also a lot of environment-friendly crafts for adults that you can even turn into a business venture. There is always something lying around that you don’t need: old magazines, grandma’s table runner, worn out pillow cases, plastic containers, etc. All it takes is to go to the Internet and figure out what you can do with them.

A little bit less of everything

Green living is sustainable living, trying to live as comfortably with less. Most condos for rent in the Philippines are relatively small so you have to really think twice about the purchases you make. Go for high-quality and multi-purpose items in your home as they last longer and are more cost-effective.

Reduce your consumption of everything. Reduce your consumption of paper that comes from trees, plastics that take hundreds of years to decompose, water bottles that will just pile up in the trash (bring your own bottle instead), etc. Think hard and re-evaluate the things that you actually need.

Make it a community affair

Be an advocate of green living in your condo community and be a responsible condo resident by reaching out to your neighbors. You can start a door-to-door recycling drive. You may also collect old clothes and other home items that your neighbors are willing to give to charity. You not only de-clutter your home and that of your neighbor’s but you even got the chance to perform a kind deed.

You may also collect the items and put them up on sale. Your neighbors profit from it and you can also get commission. You may put up your own garage sale at the condo’s clubhouse or function areas, and even ask the management to do their part by not collecting a rental fee.

Simple lifestyle changes and green initiatives in your community will go a long way to make this world a better place for generations to come. Never underestimate the power of one easy eco-friendly deed. Starting a commitment to green and sustainable living may seem like a herculean task at first but once you truly get things moving, you would realize how doing your part to save the environment is worth your while.