Green Renting: 7 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Lease

Brittny Drye

apartment buildingI admit, I'm not the greenest person in the world. I recycle (most of the time), don't waste water, and buy those energy efficient light bulbs ... but that's about it. I rent, and, honestly, never realized that I could do more than what I already do. My landlord doesn't exactly have it high on his priority list to install fancy energy-saving windows into my apartment.

Turns out, there are quite a few things you can do to make your home eco-friendly -- even if you rent.

Caulk It Up: Sealing your windows with caulk keeps the cold (or warm) air from seeping out.

Black Out: Decorating with dark-colored curtains also keeps your home cooler during the summer and warmer in the winter.

Change Out the Bulbs: Not only can you switch out your lights for more energy-efficient bulbs, but also do so in the fridge ... it'll make that 1979 appliance as green as possible.

Unplug: Obviously, turning off lights is a given, but don't forget that a lot of appliances have a "phantom load," which means that even if they're "turned off," they're still running. Unplugging them is the only way to truly turn them off.

Gray Water Is Green Water: Use the leftover water from, say, doing the dishes, aka gray water, to water your houseplants. Make sure you use natural, biodegradable soap to keep from harming your greenery.

Support Your Electric Company: I'm going to guess that if you're a renter, you probably don't have solar-panels on your rooftop. But there is a chance that your electric company has a green option. Oftentimes, if you pay a small surcharge on your monthly bill, you can tap into that.

Rally: Because we rent, there is a lot of stuff out of our control. Windows, whether or not there are recycle bins, etc. Talk to your neighbors and if there's a widespread interest, have them sign a petition showing their concern and approach your landlord about it. If there's enough interest, you might be able to get him to make some green changes around the building.

Do you rent? If so, what are some ways you try to stay green?


Image via sashafatcat/Flickr

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