Where you live plays a significant role in your carbon footprint. And, while renters may not think they have much control over that, you can move to a greener unit when your lease ends. Check out the tips below to learn how to choose an eco-friendly apartment and ensure your next living space supports your sustainable lifestyle.
- Pick Your Location
Moving to a new apartment complex means choosing a new location. Use that to your advantage by mapping out potential rental spots near places you visit frequently. For instance, an apartment next to a public transportation stop or within walking distance of your job will make it much easier to reduce your gasoline usage.
In this sense, the best choices tend to be urban areas that are highly walkable or boast easily accessible high-volume capacity public transit systems, as well as a good mix of commercial and residential properties. For instance, New York City office space is relatively easy to get to from pretty much anywhere in the five boroughs, as well as from neighboring New Jersey communities.
- Find Recycling Programs
Many rental communities have front-door pickups for bags of recycled waste. If so, they’ll mention it on their website alongside other residential perks, such as the property gym or dog park. You can also locate recycling centers near potential apartments and take care of it yourself. Notably, living too far from a recycling center would make it more difficult to minimize how much of your trash ends up in a landfill.
- Research the HVAC Units
Some apartments have newer heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units. However, this is not a standard amenity that’s often listed on the community’s website, so you’ll have to call the management office to ask for this detail. But, the extra effort would be worth it as it would improve your carbon footprint. That’s because newer models use modern technology to reduce allergens and moisture that could make you sick and reduce your energy usage.
- Locate LEED Certifications
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications mean an apartment building has passed an inspection that requires numerous eco-friendly standards. And, even though rental communities may not feature their accreditation on their website, you can find records of them online to verify a property’s eco-friendly status.
- Prioritize Energy-Efficient Appliances
Potential tenants can also ask about energy-efficient appliances in available units. The management team will clarify what they’ve installed for tenants or point them out during a tour. Eco-friendly dryers or refrigerators will use less energy to meet your daily needs.
- Inquire About Building Materials
Apartment managers or property owners can also verify what kind of materials they bought during construction. Sustainable wood and biodegradable insulation are just a few examples of eco-friendly alternatives to materials that otherwise harm the planet.
They may need time to research their construction history before getting back to you. It’s in your best interest to schedule a meeting to discuss it further. The management team will appreciate your thoughtful etiquette if they don’t know the answer right away.
- Check the Lightbulbs
Maintenance teams replace lightbulbs in exterior fixtures and any interior lights that aren’t traditional lamps. Call and ask if they stock traditional or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. CFL bulbs consume less energy, especially if they’re Energy Star certified. It’s information they should be happy to share with a potential tenant, and their answer could make it easier to choose one apartment complex over another.
- Ask About Apartment Fixtures
Permanent apartment fixtures may add to your carbon footprint. It depends on which companies they came from and how they were made. Sustainably minded property owners may have picked cabinets made with recycled wood or carpets from eco-friendly companies.
Every tiny detail counts when you’re living a sustainable lifestyle. Inquiring will clarify which community managers actively take responsibility for their planetary pollution or jump onto a trend in only superficial ways.
Learning how to choose an eco-friendly apartment only takes a few minutes. Use these tips to evaluate new communities and find one that fits your lifestyle without compromising your budget. Your next living space will support the planet because you looked into a few more details while searching for a place to rent.