Guest Post by: Marjorie McMillan
It’s not news that in the US, the price of houses has skyrocketed and rents have increased drastically. If you’re looking to move for one reason or another, here are a few tips provided by Marjorie McMillan on how to choose an eco-friendly rental and make it more green.
The world is in the midst of an existential crisis, with climate change creating enough havoc for deniers to sit up and take notice. New Jersey has warmed by approximately three degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. Sea levels are rising, and disastrous events like Hurricane Sandy or Hurricane Ida could become more common.
To dial back the damage, each person needs to make changes. Begin at home and get a head start before potential legislation comes into play. With simple switches, you can dramatically reduce the pollution created by your apartment or house.
Here are some tips for selecting an eco-friendly rental in New Brunswick or beyond.
Eco-Friendly Features to Look for When Choosing a Rental
The following elements are kinder to the environment and can help you save on your monthly bills, while creating an eco-friendly rental property.
- Proximity to schools or places of work
- ENERGY STAR-certified appliances that save energy
- Solar panels for cleaner power and energy independence, with a battery to store solar energy for night-time use
- Water-saving showerheads that deliver on pressure
- Adjustable and automated thermostats to optimally heat or cool spaces
- Smart monitors to detect water leaks
- Rooms that make the most of natural light
- Conscientious landscaping without large sections of too-thirsty grass
Cost-Effective Tweaks to Make Your Apartment More Green
Do an energy audit to see where you or your landlord can retrofit or update the rental property to reduce carbon emissions. This can help you keep your energy bills low while making your apartment green.
- Replace landfill-contaminating fluorescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED lightbulbs.
- Caulk air leaks around windows and doors. The need for draft-proofing is an issue only tenants might notice.
- Insulate water heaters and hot water pipes.
- Paint interiors with eco-friendly paints that don’t emit volatile organic compounds.
- Put in curtains or blinds because bare windows can affect the temperature in your rental even when they’re closed.
- Pepper your living space with air-purifying indoor plants.
Environmentally Friendly Ways to Move
When it comes to moving to a new apartment, you can’t do it all by yourself. Look for a more green way to move, such as a moving company. Once you embrace a more sustainable lifestyle, you’ll begin to notice room for improvement in many aspects of modern life. Finding and supporting companies that follow a similar ethos reinforces this positive culture.
Green moving companies offer the following:
- Reusable plastic bins that are less water and energy-intensive than cardboard moving boxes. With tight seals, these bins eliminate the need for wasteful adhesive tape.
- Recyclable packing materials
- Trucks that run on cleaner biodiesel fuel
- Routes that reduce your carbon footprint
If you can’t find a company like this in your vicinity, speak to your local moving service about your concerns. You might inspire a progressive niche offering.
Before hiring a mover, cover your bases by checking authentic reviews on sites such as Angi. Set up a home inspection for an accurate estimate and ensure you get a written quote before the big day.
Don’t Underestimate the Impact You Can Have
Whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly rental or apartment in New Brunswick or anywhere else in New Jersey, there’s a lot you can do for the greater good. Choose an eco-friendly rental, move yourself and your belongings consciously, and make some green upgrades to the place when you’re able to.
And if you can’t tick everything off your sustainability to-do list, or it feels like your neighbor is negating all your efforts, take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back, and refuel with these recipes from Made to Sustain.