Green Living Tips for Renters

Renters can go green with these simple tips.

You can make a few small changes that will pay for themselves over a reasonably short period of time.

  • Make sure your car is well maintained, with properly inflated tires and clean air filters.
  • Remind the landlord to replace air filters in the heating/cooling systems.
  • Ask for compact florescent bulbs if he supplies them, or buy them yourself if you are responsible.
  • Make sure the coils on the refrigerator are clean and that there is clear and free flowing air space around the refrigerator.
  • Use box fans instead of the air conditioner when feasible. (By pulling cool air into the house at night, you reduce the amount of A/C you have to use in the day time.)

  • Use overhead fans or box fans to move the air in the room, and you can raise the temperature on the thermostat and reduce the amount of AC you need.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Reduce, reuse, and recycle the things you bring into the home. Be wary of overly packaged products. They are often more expensive than more simply packaged products. You’ll wind up tossing out the packaging as soon as the product is opened, so buying products with less wasteful packages leaves you less to throw out or recycle.

The next time your children want a new “fad” item, remind them that such things require the use of resources to manufacture and transport, and when they’re done with it, it has to be disposed of.

Ask them to think about whether the item is really worth the risk to the environment and whether they will be able to keep it out of a landfill.

Not only might they bug you less for toys they doesn’t really need, but they’ll become more aware of their own buying habits and appreciate the toys they do have.

More Simple Green Tips

  • You may not have a garden for a compost pile, but perhaps your scraps could go to a neighbor or a community garden. That might be a bit much for some people, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask.
  • Rugs over bare flooring make the room warmer in the winter time. Carpets made of recycled fibers are more widely available now than just a few years ago.
  • Use and reuse a clean glass bottle like the kind tea comes in rather than one-use water bottles. Ask your landlord to consider installing a reverse osmosis system. If he will not, buy a pitcher with a filter in it or an “at the tap filter” to get water that is as good as most of the water that comes in bottles, any way. The filters are far less expensive and far less damaging to the environment than the millions of little plastic bottles that are cluttering up our landfills.
  • Ask your family members to be sure to turn the TV off when it isn’t in use. Further, plug it and any peripheral devices (DVD players, stereo speakers, etc…) into a power strip, and turn the power strip off any time the system isn’t going to be in use for an hour or more. Do the same for your computer and any other electrical items that have a “power on” light. Our printer, speakers, router and computer are turned off at the power strip any time we’re going to be away from them for more than three hours.
  • Also, unplug “chargers” when they are not in use or plug them into a power strip and turn the power strip off.
  • Remind your children/family to turn the water off when they brush their teeth. Have them switch from a tub bath to a 5 minute shower to save water and consider installing a water-saving shower head. (inexpensive hardware item)
  • If you don’t have access to a clothes line, you can get a rack that sets up in the tub to air-dry some items of clothing. Some of my husband’s shirts go from the washer straight to hangers, but this won’t work for all clothing. Still any that don’t have to be dried in a dryer are saving energy costs and helping the environment. (Wash clothes in cold water if possible)
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