15 Tips to Live a Sustainable and Green Life

Sustainable living becomes an important part of our lifestyle. It’s sad to admit, but climate change is happening. It might not have a direct impact on you, but it creates irreversible changes in the whole ecosystem.


You may be saying to yourself: “I hold my own when it comes to sustainability. I recycle all the time and I NEVER use straws!”. You are off to a good start, and this article will provide you with everyday eco-friendly tips. There is no shame in green responsibility!



Your everyday routine can be improved with small changes that do not throw off your whole way of living. Yet, these little changes add up over time and can have a huge impact!

1.   Unplug, unplug, unplug.

When not using your devices, you should always try and unplug them. Laptop and phone chargers, TVs, printers, and all your electrical equipment take up energy when it is not in use, but still plugged in. Unplugging these overnight will help to reduce energy usage and your electricity bill.

2.   Clear and Donate.

Go through your entire closet and clear out any clothes you have not worn in the past 6 months. You’re not going to wear them again. Donate to local thrift stores (Haight-Ashbury has tons of locations), charity or shelter.

3.   Go Paperless.

Pay all your bills online and switch to online subscriptions of your favorite magazines and newspapers.

Bonus tip for Urbanests tenants:  You can make your rent payments online.

4.   Reduce Water.

We all know the terrible problem we have with droughts in California. Turning off the faucet while brushing, shorter showers, and always running washer on a full load will have an enormous impact on your water usage. 

5.   Reuse.

Many know how to recycle (pretty straightforward), but few are masters of reusing. Any glass containers from food can be washed and used for pantry storage. Buy reusable containers and water bottles instead of plastic bags and bottles. Bring your own bag to the grocery store instead of buying plastic one every time.



1.   Lightbulbs.

Although this may not be the sexiest way to be green, it is one of the most effective. Make sure all lightbulbs in your apartment are LEDs. It is also cheaper long term, as LEDs do not use as much power.

2.   Go Second-hand.

When shopping and looking for new furniture and apartment décor, there is no need to buy a whole new set. There are plenty of second-hand bargains that will not only help save the planet but can add some character to your apartment or room.

3.   Be Creative.

Before you chuck your old decorations and furniture in the trash, stop and think of how you can repurpose it. Turn your worn-out old tapestry into shower curtains or use wooden blinds or old boards as a quirky coffee table.

4.   Mind the Paint.

When painting anything in your apartment, whether it’s your wall (check-in with your property manager first), chair, or decoration, make sure to use low-VOC paint. This type of paint does not have a high level of toxins and is much better for the environment.

5.   The Clean has to be Green.

You are always going to need cleaning products like hand soap, dish soap, air freshener, and laundry liquid, so you better make sure they are green. Water used for laundry goes straight into the ground, so make sure that your laundry detergent is phosphate-free. Brands like Method and Seventh Generation are all-natural, cruelty-free, and have recyclable packaging.



1.  Personal Compost.

Use your old banana peels, eggshells, and coffee grounds to create your own mini-compost pile. This can be used to grow small plants in your apartment. Check out this living composter to speed up the process and avoid any smell.

2.   Freeze-it.

To avoid any food waste, try freezing your goods, so it can help your food last up to 5 times longer.

3.  Don’t Forget the Tote.

When grocery shopping, make sure to buy and bring in your reusable tote bag to load up groceries. Not only will you be cutting down on those terrible plastic bags, but you will save a few cents from the bag charge too!

4.  Mini-Garden.

There are plenty of ways to start a mini garden in your apartment. Start with a plant or two that is easy to grow and that you find tasty and get started. This will also help to promote clean oxygen production and circulation.

5.   Save the Glass.

Foods like salsa, jam, peanut butter, and others come in glass containers. As mentioned before, they come in handy later on, so clean them out and repurpose them when you get the chance.

As a conclusion to our list, we want to mention that coliving is an affordable and sustainable housing option. At Urbanests we provide beds and furnished rooms for rent with flexible leasing. We promote green habits throughout our entire community to reduce the carbon footprint. To learn more, visit our properties page or request information from our leasing team.

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