The Grass Is Greener: How to Transition to Eco Renting
Current predictions estimate that climate change is due to increase the global mean temperature from 1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius), but this number largely depends on the actions we take today. If you’re looking to do your part in the protection of the environment, a good place to start is with ‘green housing’. Many renters are voting with their feet and seeking to lodge in eco homes that make use of solar radiation, advanced insulation, and efficient plumbing - here’s what to keep an eye out for.
Picking a property with eco-friendly appliances is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and send a message to the market that you want to see a change in housing practices. To help you recognize energy-efficient appliances, the US government EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has developed the Energy Star program. By keeping an eye out for Energy Star products such as refrigerators, heaters, and electronics, you can narrow your usage to green appliances that will help you to save money on bills and protect the environment.
In the occurrence that your property’s appliances are still not carbon-friendly, you can make your own adjustments to compensate. For example, LED bulbs are anywhere up to 80% more efficient than fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. Just by replacing a few lamps and wall lights, you can substantially reduce your footprint.
Home utilities play a significant role in a property’s carbon output. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint as a renter, you should try to look into a property’s features such as electricity functions, heating, insulation, and plumbing. Passive consumption is a key contributor to global warming - by doing some hard research before you move in, you can save years of CO2 emissions.
If your landlord hasn't taken measures to ‘greenify’ the property’s utilities, it’s sometimes worth taking up the task yourself. The EPA developed the WaterSense program in an attempt to increase water efficiency across the country - their labeled products are designed to keep usage at an absolute minimum. You can even seek out WaterSense Labeled homes, which are 30% more water-efficient than typical new constructions.
Just like the property itself, location can directly impact your emissions. When shopping for a rental, you’ll want to pay close attention to its proximity to crucial everyday localities such as work (or school), shops, entertainment venues, and health facilities. Moving somewhere central will help you to minimize the time spent driving. And if you’re worried about the carbon impact of the moving process itself, it’s always worth speaking with the services themselves. Angi moving companies can sometimes provide an eco-friendly service with reduced waste and more efficient routes. Just remember to check online reviews, testimonials and insist on written estimates after an in-home inspection has been conducted.
City dwellers tend to emit less than those who live rurally but there are also eco-benefits to having space and land. If your climate and the local terrain allow it, you can look into growing your own produce, which is one of the most effective ways to combat CO2 emissions. Just be sure to practice safely and try to minimize spillages and impact on the local environment.
Going carbon neutral is no small feat and it often takes substantial effort such as a transition to eco-housing. If you’re wondering how to do your part, you could do a lot less than to find and rent sustainably.
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