Look, we’re all trying to do our best here. But we reach a point where turning off the faucet when brushing our teeth isn’t cutting it anymore. To make a significant (sustainable) change, you need to start embodying eco-friendly practices in all aspects of your life. The best way to do that?
Start with the foundation of your life: your home. If you’ve been looking for a rental, why not opt for an eco-friendly house, apartment, or condo?
In this article, Reyiko walks you through the major updates and amenities that will help you do your part - and make a (legitimate) difference.
Look For a Leed Certified Building
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings are globally recognized for complying with strict environmental and ecological regulations. By choosing a rental in a LEED building, you can rest assured that the operation of your building isn’t contributing to carbon emissions or a negative carbon footprint. HMC Architects explains there will also be inbuilt design features that conserve water and energy while keeping indoor air quality clean and pure.
Look in Areas where Energy Bills Run Cheaper
Along with the building you live in, you can also scout out areas where the energy bills are lower on average. Not only will you use less energy, you’ll save on the rising energy costs our country is seeing. The Northeast and the state of California are among the regions with the most expensive energy bills, while states like Washington, Arkansas, and Kentucky have lower utility bills.
Of course, you don’t have to move to a new state to save on energy costs. By renting a place with energy-efficient appliances or solar panels (more details on these below), you’ll reduce your monthly expenses and your carbon footprint. You should also check to see if you live in an area with a supplier that offers eco-friendly energy at a reasonable price.
Watch Your Move
Since you’re going green, why not go green the whole hog? When you’re moving out of your current housing, be mindful of the moving practices you work with. For example, opt for recycled cardboard boxes (you can buy them used for a cheaper cost, too) and eco-friendly tape. Try to minimize waste when you’re decluttering: instead of throwing out the items you don’t need, drop them off at your local recycling center or donate them to a better home.
You’ll also need moving services that keep in mind your sustainable efforts. There are eco-friendly movers out there who will prioritize minimizing waste and taking more energy-efficient routes too! Look up local moving companies by Googling “movers near me” then read online reviews, after which you can call them to get a quote. Ensure you insist on a written estimate rather than accepting an over-the-phone number to prevent higher costs later. Legitimate movers typically conduct home inspections before giving you an estimate, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping around for services.
Energy-efficient appliances are a must. Simply look for the “energy star” seal to know if a product is certified efficient by the EPA. Energy-efficient light bulbs are another staple - using these will prevent landfills from piling up and a mounting energy bill. According to CNBC, there are over 17.7 million homes in the U.S. with solar panels installed. Be sure to check in with your landlord for alternate power sources such as solar power panels in the condo complex or built into the house. In addition, look for other features such as adjustable thermostats, dimmable lighting, and smart water-saving fixtures for sustainable efficiency on autopilot.
Find that your rental isn’t quite the sustainable haven you were imagining? Well, a quick DIY is a perfect solution to getting eco-friendly. For example, caulk air leaks near windows to ensure you’re not using more heating or cooling than is necessary. According to Superior Lighting, switch out regular light bulbs for LED ones; you make six times the energy savings with LED than traditional light fixtures! Other simple additions for around the living space include using sustainable products from Reyiko like loofah dishwashing pads and beeswax food wraps.
Choosing to live eco-friendly is the right move - both for the environment and for you. In addition to minimizing ecological strain, you’ll benefit from enhanced comfort, lower operating costs, and improved quality of life. What’s not to love? Go green for your next rental today!