Shortly after we moved to Avignon we stopped by Home Depot and grabbed some recycle bins. Unfortunately, living in an apartment has its downsides and one of them is that you don't get much of a choice in your recycling options. Avignon was cool enough, I guess, to have a paper recycling Dumpster next to the trash compactor. But we'd still have to go to the Olathe Walmart to take care of the rest. Because of Olathe's sorting requirements, we ended up with four recycle bins: paper; cardboard; glass; and plastic, tin, and aluminum.
During our time at Avignon we mostly stuck to recycling- and resource-related improvements. The introduction of recycling made a surprising difference in the amount of trash we generated. Had we not done it, we'd have nearly twice as much trash; a bottle of milk takes up quite a bit of space in a trash can.
However, many of our changes were primary financially motivated.
- We started saving and reusing gift bags and the like.
- We made an attempt to keep the AC set to 76-78 and the heat to 66-68, though apparently a second-floor apartment ruins much of your capability to maintain a comfortable -temperature for cheap.
- We started paying a bit more attention to the number of water bottles we went through and began to use reusable bottles a bit more.
Being cheap was, I would say, the main concern here but I don't want to not take any credit. We did want to be environmentally friendly--we were recycling and using less electricity whenever we could. The bottled water thing though, I just always hated the whole concept of paying for water when the tap was free.
Another thing we changed at Avignon was that I began to make pizza again. This is something I hadn't done since the Fellowship Of the Ring came out on DVD, when we had a big watch party at my parents' house and, being too young for wine, we had the option of both "white" or red Mountain Dew along with the pizza. Let's just say that back then my pizza kind of sucked. I've learned a few tricks since then.
So recycling, energy mindfulness, bottled-water consumption, and pizza-making were about the extent of our active pursuits of environmental awesomeness at Avignon. Oh, we grew some catnip on the balcony but we had to live vicariously through Sibby to gain any benefit from that.
The next big change came as we were planning our move to Regents Center.