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If you’re interested in living greener, but don’t know how to start or just want to begin small, here are eight great tips to make your apartment living at The Avant more eco-friendly. These steps are easy, can be implemented immediately, and, best of all, help keep our environment healthy — all year long. Everyone wins!

2. Kill the vampires. Walk around your apartment and unplug any electronic devices and appliances you’re not using. These include TVs, computers, printers, cell phone chargers, video game consoles, and CD and DVD players (we know some of you still have these!).

3. Watch that wash. Try to wait for a full load before turning on the washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher. You use the same amount of energy to power them whether you have a half load or a full one. Each washing cycle uses more than 25 gallons of water – make sure every drop counts. When using the dryer, clean out the lint filter after every load.

Doing dishes? Scrape your plate, but don’t rinse it, before putting it into the dishwasher. Pre-rinsing is no longer necessary with today’s technology and detergents, and you might use more water to pre-rinse than the dishwasher uses for a full wash cycle.

6. Recycling, a classic that still works. For decades, we’ve all heard how wonderful recycling is. That’s because it works! Consider the fact that recycling just one aluminum can saves the amount of energy required to run a TV for three hours.

In this technology-obsessed world of ours, many retailers and other companies also will take your old gadgets for recycling. Computers, monitors, cell phones, and other electronics often contain toxic materials that should not sit in landfills.

7. Lower the lights. Change to fluorescent light bulbs – which use approximately 66 percent less energy than regular incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. Always turn off lights when you aren’t home, or in a particular room, to save energy. You can also install automatic timers to turn off lights in empty rooms.

As you can see, it’s easy to go green. You don’t have to turn your life completely upside down. Just start small, go slow, and make the adjustments gradually. Make every day Earth Day! For more tips, visit the website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Are you a lover of fine wine and cuisine? Interested in a fun, unique weekend excursion? Perhaps you’re seeking a sophisticated, romantic option for date night. Whatever your desire, the Reston location of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is sure to please!

Cooper’s Hawk is built upon the passionate belief that food and wine hold the power to forge lasting connections. This enticing establishment encompasses a first-class winery and barrel-aging room; an elegant, Napa-style tasting room; a modern, casual restaurant; and an artisanal retail market.

Cooper’s Hawk sources the finest grapes grown and harvested in both the New World and Old World, including Italy, France, California, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. The culinary team prepares each dish fresh, incorporating peak-of-season ingredients and listing meals with accompanying wine bin numbers to help you find the perfect vino match. And the retail market showcases high-end decanters, wine accessories, gifts, and a gourmet food line.