It’s time we realize how important it is to conserve and protect our natural world. I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t have the time to save the world. Nothing I do will make a substantial difference.” But, what if making small and effortless daily changes would make a difference? Going green doesn’t mean changing who you are or your whole lifestyle. There are so many easy, small tasks you can do that make a world of difference when we all choose to participate. Here are just a few lifestyle changes that make going green in apartment living an easy endeavor:

Buy a reusable water bottle.

You’re in a rush and you grab that plastic water bottle. No, you’re not a terrible person for doing this every once in awhile but when it becomes habit, you become more and more wasteful.  To avoid this, simply buy a reusable water bottle. Some examples of brands to purchase are S’well bottle or Hydro Flask. Not only do both these bottles keep liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, but they also both give back to the world through charitable organizations and are undeniably a stylish accessory. They might be pricey but think about all the money you’ll save in the long run by not having to constantly buy packs of water. Plus, there are always cheaper alternatives. Just having a reusable water bottle (BPA free of course) is enough. As stated on the S’well website, “In the US alone, an estimated 50 billion plastic bottles are dumped in landfill sites each year, and over 200 billion globally.” Make the effort to buy and use a reusable water bottle and you’ll be one less person contributing to that ugly statistic.

Support more eco-friendly brands.

If you’re going to give companies your support, you should look for products that are responsible in their production and also, if possible, products that aren’t tested on animals. An example of a good brand to buy to help make a difference is Method. Method is all about safe ingredients, safe packaging, safe manufacturing and just overall being 100% mindful of the environment. They recently released a new soap, which comes in a bottle made from a blend of recovered ocean plastic and post-consumer recycled plastic. If you aren’t sure how exactly to decipher if you agree with the brand you’re purchasing, check out this site to familiarize yourself with environmentally responsible brand seals. There are a lot more green-friendly options than you think.

Invest in another trash can.

Too many of us don’t do the easiest thing we can to help the environment, which is recycle. shared that, “The EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it.” But why? Laziness should not be more important than our Earth. Here’s an easy solution: buy a second trash can and dedicate it to recyclables only.

Turn off the faucet.

Do you ever think about the amount of water you waste by keeping the sink running while brushing your teeth? According to an article from The Huffington Post, running the tap while brushing your teeth can waste up to 4 gallons of water. That’s 4 gallons of water gone, that could have been saved simply just by taking the two seconds to turn the faucet handle.

Flip the switch.

Although for some reason it’s easier said than done for some, always remember to turn the lights off when you leave the room. You may think you’ll come back into the room in a minute, but distractions can come up causing you to forget about the light for hours. The easy solution is to just turn it off. If you make it routine, it will make a huge difference in your energy consumption by simply flipping a switch. Additionally, you can also switch out your bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent (CFLs) or LED bulbs. They can last up to five times longer and are a lot brighter than regular light bulbs so you won’t need to turn on as many lights, thus saving more energy. Not only will you save electricity and money when you turn off lights, but it will be a constant reminder for you to be eco-friendly in other ways.

Making a difference doesn’t have to be life-altering–it can be as easy as making the conscious decision to find a recycling bin for your plastic water bottle or quickly hitting the light switch on your way out. It really is that easy to go green, and you’ll be doing your home and the world a huge favor. So, what are you waiting for?

To learn more about our efforts to help you go green, read how we prioritized energy efficiency in our buildings.