Committing to an eco-friendly lifestyle begins with small steps. As you become more comfortable with these habits, you will find that you can make bigger improvements. Here are some tips that can help make your home eco-friendly.
Learn to Recognize Green Rentals
If you are looking to rent, finding an eco-friendly property owner may be easier than you expect. Rental property owners and managers may advertise the eco-friendly aspects of their offerings, but if they don’t (and, honestly, even if they do), you can still do your own research:
- Look for evidence of solar energy, such as solar panels. You will save money on your utility bills while enjoying the renewable source of energy from the sun.
- Check the appliances for an Energy Star rating from the EPA and look for buildings with the rating. The Energy Star approval ensures that the appliance “reduces or eliminates negative impacts – and can create positive impacts,” specifically on the climate and the natural environment, according to the World Green Building Council. Since 1992, the voluntary Energy Star program has reduced emissions by 4 billion tons.
- Look for ceiling fans that boost the impact of the heating and air conditioning units, allowing you to reduce your reliance on those systems.
It is OK to ask property owners about their maintenance practices and for evidence of environmentally sustainable water and energy usage. For example, ask how often A/C filters are changed. This maintenance task reduces the wear and tear on appliances, reduces power usage, and allows for clean airflow. You can also ask about energy audits and the use of smart meters.
Hire Environmentally Responsible Movers
Check out the benefits of hiring environmentally friendly movers. These professionals investigate the best routes for fuel efficiency and focus on keeping waste to a minimum. You will also enjoy the convenience of professionals with the tools and experience for safely lifting and transporting heavy, unwieldy pieces of furniture.
Research eco-friendly movers by reading reviews on sites like Angi, meeting with a few different companies to compare their quotes, and discussing your priorities and concerns. Finally, look for reputable movers that offer specials to keep your costs within an affordable range. In addition to hiring environmentally responsible movers, green up your move by using sustainable packaging materials and used cardboard boxes, donate or recycle items you don’t plan to keep, and reduce trips back and forth.
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Increase Your Eco-Friendly Lifestyle at Home
As you settle into your new home, there are several steps you can take to improve your energy habits:
- Switch to smart thermostats that automatically adjust for time of day and when you are not at home. These devices can also track your use of electricity.
- Hang blinds or curtains to decrease your use of heating and air conditioning appliances.
- Repair gaps near windows and doors that allow air to leak into and out of your rental. This also helps you maintain a steady, comfortable temperature in the home.
- Replace lightbulbs with LED lights to easily cut down on your use of energy. Smart light bulbs can be programmed to automatically dim or switch off when you are not home.
- Switch out showerheads with low-flow options. This one move cuts down your use of energy, water waste, and carbon dioxide emissions.
- Turn off, enable power saving mode, or unplug any electronics when you are not using them. This is a well-known piece of advice but is easy to forget with so many devices running in the background of modern life.
Improving your eco-friendly lifestyle benefits your wallet and our environment. By beginning these habits at home, you can be sure that you are doing your best no matter where you live.
Lisa Walker is a freelance content creator and Editor of Neighborhood Sprout, a home lifestyle blog.