By Carolyn Hart
Finding a green rental can be a challenge, but with good research and some proactive steps, you can find an eco-friendly place to call home. Below are some helpful tips on what to look for and simple things you can do to save energy once you settle in.
Choose Your Location Wisely
Look for a rental close to the places you frequent. Living near your workplace and close to shopping and entertainment venues may enable you to walk or bike to these destinations to save transportation costs. You also reduce your carbon footprint by limiting driving and burning fuel.
Energy Star Appliances
Check prospective rental homes for Energy Star appliances. Energy Star is a U.S. government program designed to help people choose products that use less energy. Many energy-efficient appliances have the "Energy Star" stickers on them, indicating that the appliance meets strict technical specifications for energy efficiency. If appliances in your rental aren't Energy Star certified, consider encouraging your landlord to replace older, less-efficient models with Energy Star appliances.
It's also worth looking into rentals outfitted with solar panels. These panels convert energy from sunlight into clean electricity, allowing you to reduce your carbon footprint and significantly lowering your energy costs.
Look for low-flow showerheads, which emit water at low pressure. They're more expensive, but they can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your water bills. You can easily replace the existing showerhead in your rental with a low-flow model on your own.
Once you've moved into your rental, consider making energy-efficient upgrades. For example, smart thermostats help you save money by regulating temperature in the home. Smart home systems, such as Nest and Ecobee, allow you to control your home's temperature from your smartphone.
Replace older light bulbs with LED bulbs, which use up to 90% less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs and last 25 to 30 times longer.
Choosing a Mover
If you require moving services to move to your eco-friendly rental, look for local movers with good reviews on sites like Angi. Try to hire a company that takes steps to eliminate waste and plans more efficient routes. When you're searching for movers, never accept an over-the-phone estimate. Legitimate movers need to evaluate the scope of the job before providing a written cost estimate.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Many natural cleaning products are available, and you don't have to sacrifice effectiveness when using them. Key ingredients are baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. These substances are cheap and readily available, and their cleaning power rivals the effectiveness of conventional cleaners. Make cleaning solutions yourself, or find prepared versions on the market.
Making an Impact
Sustainable living has become a huge trend. An increasing number of people are looking to rent eco-friendly homes. These rentals can have a big impact on the planet. Visit DC Eco Women for more tips on going green.
About the Author: Carolyn Hart has been a financial planner for nearly four decades. She has dedicated her career to helping her clients achieve financial health by assisting them in setting budgets, saving for the future, and pursuing investment opportunities. Her site, CarolynKnowsMoney, is her passion project to reach readers near and far find financial stability. When she’s not working, you’ll probably find her in the kitchen baking up a storm.