Courtney Craig

Is one of your New Year's Resolutions to go green this year? Making the switch can seem intimidating — until you realize there's nothing wrong with taking it one step at a time. When it comes to adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle, every little bit helps. We've got ideas for just one project per month that you can take on in your apartment that'll help you live greener (and maybe even save a little money as well.)

We're in January right now, and your small change for this month shouldn't take long at all: Just buy an insulating jacket for your water heater so it doesn't have to work as hard to get the water hot for your morning shower. Old blankets wrapped around the water heater would do the trick as well.

You're already on your way to a green 2014! As the year goes on, here are more changes you can make:

February: Buy or make draft stoppers to place in front of your windows

March: Opt out of junk mail

April: Switch to non-toxic cleaning products

May: Plant a container garden

June: Pull your refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum the coils on the back (or they may be on the bottom.)

July: Buy a reusable water bottle and/or insulated mug — this will cut way down on the amount of cups you use and, therefore, the dishes you have to wash.

August: Start plugging small appliances into a smart power strip that can be turned off. Appliances still suck power if they're plugged into the wall, even if they're turned off, so the power strip will help you save energy and money.

September: Buy a water-saving showerhead.

October: Change your air filters in preparation for the cold months ahead, when your furnace will be pumping warm air into your apartment. Clean air filters help the heat run more efficiently and they improve your air quality, too.

November: As your incandescent light bulbs burn out, replace them with CFLs or, better yet, LEDs.

December: Give eco-friendly holiday gifts to your loved ones this holiday season.

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About The Author

Courtney Craig is a writer and contributor for the Apartment Guide Blog. She rented apartments for 12 years in 4 cities before buying her first house in Atlanta.