10 Ways to Go Green in a Rental Home

When renting a home you can sometimes feel powerless to make the type of changes you feel need to be made in order to make the home “greener”. Although a good talk with your landlord can sometimes help clear the way for improvements that you’d like to make while staying there, there are always other ways that you can “go green” as a renter. These vary from how you use the items in your home to how you care for the items in your home. And as little as some of the entries may seem, each adds to the efficiency of your home. Here are 10 ways we feel you can help improve the efficiency of your rental home.

Reduce Energy Consumption

It goes without saying that if you want to improve your ‘footprint’ as they say, you must think more efficiently. At the top of that list is the need to reduce energy consumption. This includes things like turning off electronics when not using them, making sure that you furnace or AC unit are not working too hard due to a drafty / leaky home, and even installing LED light bulbs (which have been proven to have a drastic effect on energy consumption.)

Separate Trash, Recycling, and Compost

The concept of separate out your trash in to 3 different categories takes a lot of planning however it something that a lot of people choose to do due to the impact. When it comes to recycling it can be pretty easy to setup a box and store all your recyclables and then google the closest recycling drop off location. As it may seem easy to handle recycling, compost may prove to be a bit more challenging. With over 35% of trash being made up of food it makes sense that one would look in to composting as a way to reduce the amount of trash being collected. There are numerous products that offer ways to pull off composting indoors and even in areas as small as an apartment. To learn more, check out EarthEasy.com

Programmable Thermostat

With so many advances in technology it is really hard to pinpoint just one that will have a large impact on your daily ‘footprint’. However, one in particular stands out as a very good method of reducing your energy usage. A programmable thermostat is a great way to control when your using the most of your heat (or air). You can set a schedule to have the furnace kick on in the morning just before everyone wakes up, but keep it low while you sleep. You can even schedule to have the AC kick on an hour before you’re due to arrive home from work.

Low-Flow Shower Heads

When it comes to saving water a low-flow shower head can make a difference. A normal shower head can use up to 3.8 gallons of water per minute where a low-flow shower head is usually below 2.5 gallons of water per minute. I know that many of us enjoy a high pressure shower, however every bit counts, and if you want to reduce consumption and cost, low-flow is the way to go.

Move Furniture Away from Radiator

If you have a radiator in your home make sure to keep all of your couches and chairs away from it. Not on the other side of the room, that is not what we are saying. However, you don’t want to put things too close to the radiator as you may stop the flow of warm air from traveling around the room. Yes we all love to sit right up close to the heater and bask in the warmth, but by giving it a chance to expand throughout the room you will be sure to save on the cost by not needing it quite so much.

Energy Saving Power Strip

Sometimes even when you turn off your devices they don’t actually stop draining electricity. It could be something as small as an LED light or maybe even backup of some sort. There are numerous reasons as to why devices can benefit from having access to a continuous source of electricity. However, every little bit adds up, and if we want to add to our savings, a good way to do this is to get a power strip that has the ability to stop all intermittent power consumption, or just turn off the power strips you use each day.

Caulk Windows and Doors

If there are issues with either warm or cold air coming in from around the edges of your windows or doors it may be a good idea to pick up some caulk at Lowe’s or Home Depot (or even Walmart) and follow along with a YouTube video. This will help create a barrier to stop all those unwanted breezes from coming through.

Clean Refrigerator

The coils on the back of your refrigerator can easily be considered the best way to improve your refrigerator’s efficiency. By keeping them clean of dust and debris you can ensure they are working at there maximum. So break out the broom and the vacuum and attack all those dust bunnies on the back of what should be one of your most cherished appliances.

Blackout Curtain

Blackout curtains can be used for much more than blocking the sunlight in order to stay asleep longer or enjoy your favorite movie. In fact, you can use blackout curtains to block cold air from entering your home at night, and by opening them during the day you will allow heat from the sun to help warm your house during the day. Also, during the summer, you can close the curtains during the day to stop unwanted heat from entering the home. This will help the AC work better.

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