How to be sustainable while renting

Did you know that more than a third of U.S. residents live in rental housing? Many of us are bombarded with tips on how to live a greener life at home. However, much of the advice we consume is created with a homeowner in mind, leaving many renters wondering what they can do to lessen their environmental impact.

While you may not have the ability to install solar panels or new insulation, renters still have quite a bit of control over their living environments. From changing your light bulbs to growing food from leftover food scraps, all efforts we make to lead a sustainable life can help cut down on our negative environmental impacts.

Choose your location wisely.

Having a sustainable rental unit starts when you choose the location. Where you sign a lease has a major impact on your ability to live sustainably. Being as close as possible to transit, work, school, shopping, and walking and biking paths will reduce your need drive and increase your health, well-being and quality of life.

Also, find out if any local options are LEED-certified. LEED apartment homes can create affordable, enjoyable communities as well as healthy spaces to live in.

Create sustainable habits.

Occupants of any home play a big role in how sustainable the space can be. Creating sustainable habits like recycling and limiting water consumption and being mindful about the lights can all help make a difference in reducing your environmental footprint at home. With tactics like using less energy, reducing single-use plastic, and thrifting, there are various resolutions you can make to be more sustainable.

Waste less water.

Although having a low-flush toilet or other energy-efficient technologies might help us save lots of water, it’s likely that it’s not top-of-mind for your landlord or property manager, despite toilets accounting for nearly 30% of a typical home’s indoor water consumption. However, there are ways for renters to cut back on their water use, including shortening shower times, not letting the sink run while washing dishes or brushing teeth, reusing water from your shower to water plants and limiting the number of times you flush.

Use sustainably sourced items.

Finding and sourcing eco-friendly materials for your apartment can cut down on waste, energy use and resource depletion making it a good choice to reduce the carbon footprint of your rental home. You can seamlessly integrate sustainable materials into the design of any space by repurposing materials, recycling old materials, bringing the outdoors in and buying local.

Learn more about how to go green as a renter