Living an environmentally-conscious lifestyle still carries a stigma of sacrifice. Take these common excuses for not making changes in our daily habits:
Whatever our reasons for not adopting eco-friendly practices into our regular routine, there’s likely a modern-day fix. Order a Reuben sandwich with tempeh instead of corned beef. Trade in your 15-mpg beast for a hybrid Yukon that hauls the same load. You can even buy a ready-made, raccoon-proof compost container. Across the spectrum, technology and progress have found solutions to appease our green-mindedness.
It’s our homes that leave behind the largest eco-footprint. City dwellers have a green advantage over suburbanites, with a smaller impact on the land due to consolidating. But for the earth-minded apartment renter, it can be frustrating knowing that your old windowsills are leaking climate-treated air, or watching piles of plastics tossed into the garbage when a building or city hasn’t coordinated a recycling program.
Fortunately, the green movement no longer demands daily sacrifice (although riding your bike to work, if you call that a sacrifice, is still better for the earth than a hybrid Yukon). In fact, these days, ‘green’ may even be synonymous with ‘luxury.’ Nowhere is this more obvious than in the growing number of eco-friendly apartment buildings around the country, where an earth-conscious approach goes right in hand with jacuzzi jets in the tub and the views from wall-size windows.
Here are a few of the most notable recent projects:
Attention to the community details sets this Gold LEED-certified complex apart from competitors. Tops among the rarities? An in-house bicycle repair workshop. The building also includes single stream (no sorting) recycling facilities on each floor and a rooftop observation deck equipped with a solar trellis providing power to the building. That’s not to mention the community kitchen and Mac bar, with shared computers, free tea and coffee, and a pool table and Wii. It’s all the advantages of living alone and having roommates in one place, and everyone’s on the same page when it comes to respecting the planet.
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