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Eco-Friendly Rental Properties
It seems like every article you read about for the environmentally conscious is aimed at the homeowner and what can be done to improve the home. Well what if the home you live in isn't yours and you Eco-Friendly Rental? Large capital improvement projects like installing solar panels, replacing windows and installing insulation aren't something that you can accomplish. Well even if you do rent, there are things that you can accomplish and still work towards a greener lifestyle.
If you do rent, there are things that you do have control over in the environment that you inhabit. Granted these are small things, but every little bit helps. If you Eco-Friendly Rental, the old saying, "don't sweat the small stuff" doesn't apply. Little things like applying weather stripping painting with low VOC paints are all things that you can do and every little bit helps. If you stay on good working terms with your landlord, who knows you might talk them into a capital expenditure like insulation or new windows.
Ten Tips for Eco-Friendly Rental
1. Make the Right Choice for Eco-Friendly Rental
Location, location, location, it doesn't just apply to purchasing a property. When you are out looking for a rental property, there are several things for you to consider. Is the location convenient to mass transit? Are there stores and shops within walking distance? Can you ride a bicycle safely on the roads? Once you answer your initial questions, there's one more step you can make. Talk to the people who live in the community. They live there and will have the best information for you. Demand causes supply to increase. The more people who seek out and live in greener communities the more the developers and local governments will be inclined to make them available.
2. Think Small for Eco-Friendly Rental
The solar powered, geothermal heated and cooled home of your dreams may be far beyond your reach however the home or apartment you choose can have a big impact on your home's energy consumption. If you are planning on living alone, do you really need a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment? You will have all of that extra space to heat and cool while you are not using it. The smaller apartment that you choose the smaller your environmental footprint will be. If however you find the ideal apartment that is bigger than you need, consider taking in a roommate and sublet part of the apartment or home. Share the common areas, the rent and the energy bills. You'll lessen your impact on the environment and save money too.
3. Communication is Important for Eco-Friendly Rental
When you Eco-Friendly Rental your home from someone else, you often feel like you aren't in control of your life. Communicating with your landlord and keeping lines of communication open can go a long way to empowering you to change your environment. Simple things can be easily accomplished. Ask if the landlord will refund you if you put in a programmable thermostat. If a sink constantly drips or the toilet runs, spend a couple of bucks and fix it. It's not particularly hard and if you fix it yourself, chances are the landlord will be grateful for not having to hire a contractor to do it and in all likelihood will reimburse you. You will have proved your worth as a good tenant and it's easier to retain good Eco-Friendly Rental than find them. If you do the math and present capital improvements to your landlord that show their return on investment chances are the landlord will think about it and approve it.
4. Get In the Habit for Eco-Friendly Rental
If you are Eco-Friendly Rental, the big stuff like solar panels and smart homes is beyond your reach so why even think about it. Think about what you can do to affect the way you live. Recycling, turning out lights, putting on a sweater are all things that you can do and if enough people do get in the good habits, then everyone can make an impact on the environment. When a light bulb burns out, replace it with a CFD bulb. Put your recycling container where you have easy access to it. Hang your reusable shopping bags next to the door so that you remember to take them with you when you go shopping. Gather up all of your rechargers for cell phones, PDA's and electronic gadgets and put them all on one strip so the strip can be turned on and off as necessary. Good habits are easy to make and hard to break.
5. Seal It Up for Eco-Friendly Rental
Chances are your rental property isn't really sealed well. Doors and windows leak cold air. You don't have to put up with it. Sticky back foam weather stripping and door sweeps are available at any hardware store or home improvement center and they won't break your budget. What they will do is eliminate the cold air entering your environment and save you money on your heating costs. You can apply plastic glazing onto your windows to help eliminate heat transfer. In the summer, sun blocking shades and window blinds help keep the house cooler.
6. So You Can't Go Offline to Eco-Friendly Rental
Since you are Eco-Friendly Rental, offline power probably isn't an option. What you can do is find out from your utility company if they offer a Green Power option. You can also purchase offsets from several suppliers to make up for your power usages. If you look around you can find eco-friendly appliances on the market. Everything from solar cookers to hand cranked radios.
7. Make the Switch of Eco-Friendly Rental
When the light bulb burns out, pass by the incandescent bulbs and make the switch to CFD's. CFD's are more efficient than incandescent bulbs and the new LED bulbs that are coming online now are even more efficient than CFD's. If you gradually replace incandescent bulbs with CFD's the impact on your budget will be minimal. If you move on, you can always take ‘em with you or leave them for the next tenant who might not be as eco-friendly as you are.
8. Don't Let it Go Down The Drain
Most landlords aren't going to spring for a state of the art low-flush toilet; it's not on their list of priorities. They probably will go for low flow showerheads and facet aerators that are water efficient. If the landlord won't install them for you ask if you can make it a DIY project. They probably won't object to that. Perhaps the biggest thing is getting into the right habits about conserving water. Don't let the tap run while you are brushing your teeth or shaving. Take shorter showers. Run the washing machine and dishwasher with full loads. You can even use bath water to water plants. Creating these habits can reduce your water usage by up to 50%.
9. Add a Splash of Color
Chances are when you moved into your Eco-Friendly Rental property, the walls were a uniform neutral color. One method of making that rental property more like "home" is to paint. When you do decide to paint make sure that the paint you use is a low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint. You may have to do some looking to find it, but it's out there. When you use the low VOC paint you won't have to put up with that "fresh paint smell".
10. Early American Roadside and Other Options of Eco-Friendly Rental
When moving into a new apartment, furnishings generally average $4000. Instead of running out to the furniture store check out antique shops, yard sales and even what's been put out on the curb to go to the landfill. You'll be surprised at the quality of furniture you can find and how good it will look with a little refinishing. If you must go new, purchase high quality furniture made with FSC certified or reclaimed wood. If you are in a small apartment look for multi functional furniture. If one piece of furniture will do the work of two why have two?
- 78 percent: Percentage of Colorado households receiving financial assistance with energy costs that live in rental accommodation, and 13 percent of their household income goes to meet their energy needs.
- 1.2 million: Estimated number of U.K. households that will still be in fuel poverty (that is, spending more than 10 percent of their income on energy costs) in 2010. The vast majority of these will be in rental accommodation.
- $115: Savings, per year, each household can realize by weatherizing windows and doors.
Sources: Energy Outreach, Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Canadian Parliament