Although Earth Day is not until April, Community Housing Offices likes to be ahead of the game and celebrate Going Green during March, when wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day makes us think of going green in our rental homes. Although renters may feel that they have less of an opportunity to make changes in their space than people who own their own home, this is not the case! CHO has unearthed many simple, effective ways for renters to live a more environmentally-friendly life, starting with their rental home. Below is just a sample of all the amazing and simple tips our Green Housing Guide has to offer. Pick a guide up in our office or find it online at http://www.housing.ucsb.edu/hchoices/hchoices-images/pdfs/greenhousingguide.pdf.
• Make your Move Greener
o Borrow plastic containers for packing and transporting, reducing the number of boxes and tape you need. If you do use boxes and bubble wrap, don’t buy new stuff! Collect from grocery stores or check out Craigslist or www.wemovegreen.com for people getting rid used moving supplies.
• Clean Greener
o Your local grocery stores have PLENTY of green options to choose from for cleaning supplies, and the prices are comparable to many of the noxious, harmful cleaners out there.
o Raid your kitchen for cleaning supplies- pick up our Green Housing Guide to see how to use toothpaste, vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda to make your rental ‘spic and span’.
o Plants are not only decorative; they replace carbon dioxide in the air with oxygen, all while absorbing pollutants.
• Green Energy for your Home
o Look for the Energy Star Label when shopping for electronics.
o Laptop computers use half the energy of desktop computers.
o Prevent “vampire energy!” Unplug appliances when not in use or utilize power strips to prevent electricity leaks.
• Recycling News
o We know that you use your reusable bags when you go to the grocery store, but what if you have forgotten and wish to get rid of those pesky plastic bags? Or maybe you always use your reusable bags, but don’t know what to do with the bread bag or saran wrap you’ve just finished using. RECYCLE IT! Santa Barbara County is now recycling CLEAN plastic bags (all kinds) if you put them in your blue recycle bin.
Do you and your roommates have a creative way of supporting the environment? Tips that can help others? Fun ways to go green? Post on our Facebook page (facebook.com/ucsbcho) and you and your roomies will be entered for a fabulous GREEN prize!