So, you’re in the market for a rental home and you want to keep your carbon footprint to a minimum. The good news is that more landlords are conscious of how they can conserve energy and water in their properties these days. And fortunately, more real estate developers are trying harder to build structures with sustainable materials.

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But there are still plenty of apartments, condos, and rental houses that are not so eco-conscious. Read on to learn how you can identify an environmentally friendly rental home before you sign the lease!

Moving  

Let’s start with the moving process. If you will be using professional movers to relocate, you can reduce your carbon footprint by hiring a company that goes out of its way to eliminate waste and conserve energy. And all you have to do is research movers online through sites like Angi to find eco-conscious ‘local moving companies near me.’ Most legitimate movers conduct in-home inspections before they provide customers with an estimate. Just make sure you get the costs in writing rather than relying on an over-the-phone estimate.

You will also want to consider your daily transportation routine when selecting a home. The closer you are to work, school, or any other everyday activities, the better. Not only does walking or riding a bicycle reduce your carbon footprint, but it can also yield some significant health benefits and provide exposure to sunshine.

Solar

If you love a rental house but it doesn’t have solar panels, you could always discuss with your landlord the possibility of adding them. There are plenty of incentives for adding solar panels to a home’s roof that you could bring up to your landlord!

If you have a particular apartment complex in your sights, you could ask the property manager to install solar panels or join a community project to raise funds to get it done. More and more, the United States is moving towards clean energy resources, and solar is by far the least expensive option.

Water

Any sustainable apartment or rental house will boast optimal water efficiency. This means that the plumbing will be in excellent condition without any leaks. Some apartments and homes even come with a mechanism that recycles stormwater.

However, even if you don’t choose a home with those features, you can still make a difference in the environment by installing a low-flow showerhead to conserve water significantly. And you could possibly install a new water heater to further efficiency.

Air

Finally, if you have air leaking out of your home, you’re going to be wasting money on energy. Evaluate any apartment or rental house you are considering to see how well it is insulated against the elements. If the home has decent insulation in the walls and minor leaks around the doors and windows, you can speak with your property manager about caulking any gaps and replacing old weatherstripping. Or, you might be able to just do it yourself!

Also, consider installing a smart thermostat if your home does not have one in it. Smart thermostats are convenient and can reduce energy consumption significantly. You can program these devices to adjust the temperature according to whether you are home or not, and you can control your HVAC remotely with your smartphone or other mobile devices. And if you want to improve the air quality in your living space, add some house plants to the mix. There are countless plants out there that can boost your home’s visual appeal while also purifying the air and providing other health benefits.

This is a great time to live if you are looking to rent an eco-friendly home because there are more of them than ever before. Remember the tips above as you start your home search, and keep looking for other ways you can make your home life more environmentally friendly. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the next chapter of your life knowing that you are living a lifestyle that benefits your community and the world at large!

If you found this article helpful, you can read more optimistic, hopeful EnviroTip content on TheResilientActivist.org!

Lisa Walker

Lisa Walker is a proud SAHM (Stay at Home Mom). She enjoys trail hiking and beach-combing with her husband Jake when not busy with her boys and home improvement projects. She created NeighborhoodSprout.org as a passion project to share her love of homeownership with others.

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