Tips for Finding an Eco-Friendly Rental Property

Guest blog by Lisa Walker, founder of www.neighborhoodsprout.org.

Lisa Walker is the proud SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) of two adorable but feisty sons. 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.

As global warming worsens, there’s a growing focus on the impact human activity has on the environment and more people are making changes to their lives and homes. So, when searching for a rental property, finding an eco-friendly option is best. 

Every rental property should fall within specific energy efficiency guidelines as laid out by the government. These guidelines ensure your home’s energy output does as little damage as possible. However, there are other ways to reduce your home’s carbon footprint further. 

If you’re looking for tips on how to make your new rental property a more eco-friendly place, here are some ideas to consider.

Consider Your Amenities

Solar panels, low-flow showerheads, or energy-efficient appliances are a few good ways to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of a home.

So, when viewing houses or apartments, keep an eye out for energy-saving appliances or request that your real estate agent show you properties that feature solar panels or other devices. 

You can even use sites like Green Moves to find eco-friendly homes in your area.

Workplace Proximity

The work commute is one of the biggest transportation contributors to global warming in the US. So, when you’re moving properties, think about your journey to work and how eco-friendly it is. If possible, finding a home within walking or cycling distance to your work is the best way to offset your carbon footprint.

However, that’s not always possible. So, if you can’t find a place that’s only a walk away, think about the public transport routes available. Are there trains, buses, or trams that take a simple route between your work and your new potential home? If so, opting for public transport is a far better option than driving your car each day. 

Daylighting

An often overlooked feature of homes for sustainability is natural lighting.

People love windows for their aesthetic appeal, outside views, and the natural lighting, but don’t often equate them to energy-saving features. When the windows are well-insulated, they shouldn’t impact heat or cooling costs. (In fact, in pleasant weather, they can be used as natural air conditioning.)

But they can also offer wonderful natural lighting and reduce your need for electric lighting during the day. So, when looking for rental options, consider where the windows are located, and if there are enough to light up the space.  

For balanced lighting, windows should be located on two walls in a room when possible. 

Make Updates Yourself

During your search, it may become clear that finding a pre-existing eco-home that’s within walking distance of your work and within your budget is difficult. But, it’s not the end of the world. 

If your home isn’t currently set up for eco-living, there are changes you can make, as long as they’re approved by your landlord, including:

  • Request a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats help you use energy more efficiently.
  • Caulk or seal any air leaks. This helps to better retain heat or coolness, depending on your climate.
  • Use LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs use less electricity and last longer.
  • Use compostable bin liners. Avoiding plastic as much as possible is a great environmentally friendly swap, and this is just one example of plastic reduction.

Find Local Movers

Once you’ve found your ideal eco-friendly rental property, consider how you’ll transport your furniture and possessions in a sustainable way. 

The first step is to hire a local moving company. The more local the company, the more eco-friendly the moving process. Some moving companies also use eco-friendly practices, eliminating waste where possible and taking the most efficient routes when transporting items. 

After doing a search online for “furniture movers near me,” you can compare the sustainability, price, and past reviews of local movers online to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Become More Eco-Friendly 

Considering your in-home appliances, proximity to work, and your moving process to make sure your rental is as eco-friendly as possible. However, if you’re looking for more tips on how to live a more eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, check out 7 simple habits to be more sustainable


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