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How does an apartment dweller make the world a better place?

 
steward
Posts: 28902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Smile to strangers.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 8827
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
734
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Dress according to the season. Allow the place to stay a little cooler in winter and warmer in summer.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 28902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Learn about rocket mass heaters.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 28902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Heat people instead of heating the entire apartment. Explore the use of micro heaters.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 28902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Learn about wildcrafting.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 28902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Get rid of fluorescent lights.
 
Posts: 520
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
24
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build a small photovoltaic system. have some devices run completly off grid. talk to peole about it. raise their awareness about this topic
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 520
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
24
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get a watt-meter and check how much energy your things use
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 520
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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make or get gifts for people that help them to think about permaculture-related topic
make awesome things as gifts form natural materials or stuff you grow/harvest yourself
 
Dale Hodgins
master pollinator
Posts: 8827
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Plan major cooking projects for times when heat is needed. Turn the heat off at night. Be the first one up, so you can make it more comfortable for feeble room mates.
 
Dale Hodgins
master pollinator
Posts: 8827
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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This one has given me trouble, but I've done it with varying degrees of success.
.....
Learn how to manage the behaviour of wasteful house mates. Utility bills should go down , when you move in. Some can be taught, others must be managed.
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 520
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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when baking, make different things at once or after oneanother. like 2 breads, pizza, gratin, rolls, cookies, dog-cookies
 
Dale Hodgins
master pollinator
Posts: 8827
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Farm the boulevards and the back and front yards of agreeable home owners. Victoria has lots of gardens in unusual places.
 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
246
forest garden urban
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Speak with your neighbors. A little sense of community goes a long way.
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 520
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
24
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plan to build your own tiny house
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 28902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Learn to sew. Make your clothes last longer.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 28902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Find ways to eliminate or reduce the toxicity of personal care products.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 28902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Behave as if gasoline cost $20 per gallon.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 28902
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Discover your local permaculture group.
 
master steward & author
Posts: 16608
Location: Left Coast Canada
3951
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
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Use cloth bags. Sew cloth bags out of old clothes.
 
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
206
cat fish trees books urban food preservation solar woodworking greening the desert
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Need to add, batch your cooking. If you turn the oven on fill it or do serial baking/roasting, and do it in colder hours or on cold days. Buy a few Nokero lights and put them in a window for the day. (rechargeable portable alternatives to lanterns, good for task lighting). Put all your energy vampires (printers, etc) on a power strip so you can turn them OFF easily when not needed. Learn to knit or crochet-if you are in a waiting room or in-line (like DMV) you can do something that will make you warm with that wasted time. (DMV lines, I have completed a scarf or hat while waiting. Tote over my shoulder feeding the yarn...)
 
Posts: 18
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Find local pasture-based farms to buy meat in bulk from. I found mine via the local Weston A. Price chapter (amazing Highland beef). Check the various farm websites too (realtimefarms, etc). Even Craigslist. "Salad bar beef" is a good phrase to look for. Buying pastured vs. conventional makes a huge environmental impact.

You're already ahead of the game by living in an apartment vs. a house. Way ahead if that means living near work and otherwise minimizing driving. Read "Early Retirement Extreme".
 
Posts: 96
Location: Medellin, Colombia
12
forest garden trees bike
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paul wheaton wrote:Set the thermostat on your water heater to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This might seem counterintuitive, but lower temperatures lead to people getting sick. If your water heater ever needs to be replaced, maybe get a smaller one.



Or get a once-through water heater: Saves valuable apartment space, are generally more efficient (exceptions apply!) because of heat exchanger design/construction and because there is no storage of hot water.
 
Juan Sebastian Estrada
Posts: 96
Location: Medellin, Colombia
12
forest garden trees bike
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If economically possible, choose an apartment that is as close as possible to work, transit, walkable/bikeable neighborhood, and other needs. (I did this a few years ago and cut my commute by 2/3)
 
Posts: 21
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In 1974, the Los Angeles Times, HOME MAGAZINE published a series of designs for multifunctional living that was inspired by the way that the traditional Japanese home made multiple use if their limited space. This was a DIY article showing a western adaption of multiple use western style furnishings that would allow the same room to be used for multiple uses. This was later picked up by a Los Angeles Furniture Manufacturer and put into production in metal instead of wood, but with increased comfort and functions. These may have been the first "Permaculture" Furniture Designs and, perhaps, the first Futon Bed/Sofa. They all were awarded U.S. Patents. It was my first attempt to help "make the world a better place."
 
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Buy organic Sprout Seeds and grow them in unclorinated and non-flouride water an in a canning jar. I do and consider my sprouts to be "my vegetables". I use a Berkey portable water filter with a chlorine filter and a floride filter (since my Beloit, WI tap water has both). It cost me about $250 (with no regrets). I never drink tap water in my town, except occasionally at work (in the coffee). At home I cook and drink only filtered water (and use it for fermented foods+sourdough), and store more for power outages. I bought Sprouts on 9/14/2014 to ensure that if the economy collapsed that I could feed my family very-healthy vegetables (and especially through long winters, and indoors in-town). I especially like Fennugreek seeds--good for blood sugar control. At age 64 (lean, but not particularly mean) sprouts "perk me up" more than any vegetable I have ever eaten. They are filled with healthy vitamins, enzymes, and photochemicals. Most of the sprouts I eat are called micro-sprouts. I eat them when they are about 1" in plant-sprouts. But this year my sprouts are 2-years old and aging very fast. This Spring I will also become a "Johnny Appleseed" type of guy, who goes out and plants my seeds that are getting old enough to not start up regularly (says the website where I bought them, though they are still starting fine at my house). I got organic sprout seeds from "sproutpeople.org". I over-bought as a first time buyer and experimenter. A 1-lb bag of sprouts will make about 48 quart jars (about 3/4ths full, unless you let them grow to 1.5") and cost anywhere from $8-$15 dollars per pound depending on what you buy. I eat these raw, for a snack, throw them in eggs; and I can juice them. What I have is still good. I eat the seed pod shells also. I especially like daikon radish and fenugreek. So, if you don't have soil, you won't have weeds, if you grow sprouts in a canning jar (and it will smell good so long as you water+drain at least once daily), about 1 heaping tbsp per jar. The sproutpeople.org web site has lots of info on the health value and how long to soak. I really like using canning jars (1 qt) because I can see how fast they grow. Sprouts to me are a fail-safe way of best-eating of the easiest and best vege's available. They store well (I keep in a room averaging about 60-70F year round. If you go camping for week, take some sprouts with you and a canning jar (and filtered water). You can eat them after soaking 8+ hours, or wait a few more days for them to grow 1/2"or 1". I don't get hungry, nor "junk food cravings" when I eat sprouts, which is why I eat them. Now I'm going to pick a place to plant them "wild" (where few people go) and see what the plants look like as they mature. Maybe I will get lucky and find some foraging. I have found old gardens (where once homes stood), but I was dumb back then and couldn't identify the garden plants re-growing year-after-year from seed (at the season that I found them).
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Posts: 49
Location: Northeastern Spain (Mediterranean, zone 9b)
3
forest garden books chicken
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Use less water in your toilet by putting a brick into the tank or setting it to lowest.

If it's brown flush it down, if it's yellow let it mellow.

While you heat your shower water, put a bucket under to store the water and feed it to your plants or use it in the kitchen.

Drink only tap water, filtered if necessary.

 
Posts: 101
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How about "if you use palm oil, use organic or agroecological certified palm oil? Apartment dwellers in many countries- even in the US- do edible landscaping and balcony gardens. There are ways this can be done that can satisfy even the most (searching for a charitable term here for obstructionist assholes who make life harder for everyone else) .... Anyway, the problem is not in apartment living per se, but in the management. I watched as a thriving international zone one vegiie garden at a Portland subsidized apartment complex belonging to the Catholic Church was converted back to lawn in the 80's. Stupid manager. In the 90's I helped a non profit by staging a charette for residents of a subsidized apartment complex design (bilingually- Ingles/Spanish) with real-time modeling and foto documentation, an edible landscape for their complex. But the political situation changed.
Bottom Line: in urban situations, if you want change, form a non-profit, church, gang, corporation, whatever, to accomplish what you want to do. Like LA's Tree People, the Portland Fruit Tree project, and so on.
 
pollinator
Posts: 244
Location: Basque Country, Spain-42N lat-Köppen Cfb-Zone8b-1035mm/41" rain: 118mm/5" Dec., 48mm/2" July
74
purity personal care books cooking food preservation writing
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paul wheaton wrote:

I am hoping that each item on this list is not a long item just a few words. No more than a sentence or two.

And I hope people will give a thumbs up or apple or pie for their favorites.

 
Posts: 48
Location: Wisconsin, USA (zone 4b)
7
trees tiny house wofati food preservation
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Learn about seasonal food in your region. Eat seasonally. Find a farmer's market.
 
Becky Proske
Posts: 48
Location: Wisconsin, USA (zone 4b)
7
trees tiny house wofati food preservation
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Discover the distance your food travels. Set a goal to reduce your food miles.
 
Becky Proske
Posts: 48
Location: Wisconsin, USA (zone 4b)
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trees tiny house wofati food preservation
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Choose fair trade products according to your budget and in ways that best meets your values.
 
Becky Proske
Posts: 48
Location: Wisconsin, USA (zone 4b)
7
trees tiny house wofati food preservation
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Start a worm bin for your kitchen scraps. Share or sell the worm castings.
 
Posts: 1
Location: Michigan, USA (zone 5b)
cat fungi bike
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Use vinegar to clean practically everything.
 
Posts: 78
Location: Columbia Missouri
9
forest garden urban bike
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Put your WIFI modem on a timer. Mine turns off when I go to bed and when I go to work. You'll save energy and keep your data a little safer.
 
The first person to drink cow's milk. That started off as a dare from this tiny ad:
holiday shopping for 2019
https://permies.com/t/128446/holiday-shopping
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