Sustainability, energy efficiency and reducing waste remain top-of-mind for many people as they look for new ways to help protect our planet and preserve resources. As a condo owner, there are easy ways you can make a big difference. Take a look at the tips below to help improve energy efficiency and reduce your impact on the environment.

Switch to LED or CFL light bulbs

What is one of the easiest ways to make your condo eco-friendly? Switch from incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient light bulbs. Light-emitting diode (LED) and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs use about 75 percent less energy and have a 10 to 25 times longer lifespan than standard incandescent light bulbs.1 LED or CFL bulbs are changed less often, generating less waste for landfills. As an added bonus, you may notice a dip in your monthly energy bill.

Consider sustainable cleaning products

Traditional cleaning products are full of chemicals, but there are alternatives. When shopping for sustainable cleaning products, visit retailers that stock genuine green products. Look for third-party certification, such as EcoLogo or Green Seal, to verify eco-friendly claims made by the manufacturers, and learn which chemicals to look for or avoid when reading ingredients labels.

You can even use apple cider vinegar as a cleaner for everything, from your dishwasher and kitchen counters to windows, carpet stains and more.2

Choose energy-saving appliances

Your home – especially the kitchen – has many electrical appliances that may not be energy efficient. Many of today’s new models will fix that problem, but even if you’re not in a position to buy all new eco-friendly appliances, you can still save energy by tweaking the way you use the appliances you already have. For instance, set your dishwasher to a lower temperature, keep your refrigerator temperature at 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit and regularly clean your range-top burners and reflectors to run an eco-friendly kitchen.3

Look for reclaimed materials when remodeling

When you’re working on flooring projects, opting for products made from reclaimed rather than new wood can help bring a beautiful aesthetic to your home, while being more earth-friendly at the same time. Reclaimed wood recycles materials from previous construction – including beams and framing timbers – that would otherwise be thrown away.4 Using recycled wood can also help preserve the world’s tree population.

Additionally, as a condo owner, you can recycle and consider indoor composting to help decrease your carbon footprint. Depending on where you live, there may be rules and regulations you need to follow regarding these eco-friendly practices. So make sure to check with your local public works department and condo association for more information.

If you’re considering upgrading your space, consult your condo bylaws to determine what you are and are not responsible for. Learn what’s covered through your condo association’s policy, and what is covered by your personal one, when it comes to your renovations.