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How to Find and Upgrade an Eco-Friendly Rental

By Guest Author, Sharon Wagner

According to industry experts, an increase in resident demand for eco-friendly housing has motivated many builders to embrace environmentally friendly construction. Choosing a rental property with eco-friendly features or upgrading your existing rental is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. So here are some tips to get you started.

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Amenities to Look for in Eco-Friendly Housing

Renters are usually restricted to small changes. This makes choosing rental units that already incorporate major systems that are eco-friendly important. Solar panels are one of the top amenities to look for. Solar panels can reduce your energy use by as much as 90% which is better for the environment and your budget.

Energy Star appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators, and microwaves are another way to cut your energy use. Look for the Energy Star label on appliances when you tour rentals. Another way to make your rental more eco-friendly is to choose a home that is close to work. Walking or biking to work instead of driving reduces harmful emissions and saves money.

It’s worthwhile looking at current rental listings to determine what types of amenities other landlords are offering tenants. Many listings offer 3D tours, so you can also learn more about how property owners are staging their homes.

Eco-Friendly Upgrades You Can Make

You may need your landlord's permission to make any changes to your rental, but most of these small upgrades should be easy to get approved. First, if your unit doesn't already have a smart thermostat, install one. It is one of the easiest ways to cut down on your heating and air conditioning usage. Second, replace your lightbulbs with light-emitting diode bulbs. These bulbs use up to 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times as long. There are other minor changes that can make your home more eco-friendly:

  • Buy some house plants. Plants provide a natural way to filter the air in your house, reducing the need to use disposable filters. However, make an effort to avoid invasive species.

  • Hang thermal curtains with blackout technology to diminish the amount of heat that enters your home through the windows.

  • Cut down on your paper products usage by installing a bidet attachment instead of using toilet paper.

  • Install a low-flow showerhead and take shorter and fewer showers to cut down on your water usage.

  • Limit the number of times you do laundry to further reduce water consumption.

Green Up Your Move

There are steps you can take to make your move to a new rental eco-friendly. Rather than throwing out unwanted items, donate, sell, gift, or recycle as often as possible. Don't dump your useless items at the thrift shop, but try to avoid throwing out items that could still be useful to someone. Instead of purchasing new boxes to pack your stuff in, ask your friends and family if they have boxes you can use. You may also be able to find used boxes at grocery and retail stores or purchase used boxes from companies that sell moving supplies. When you are done with your boxes, recycle, sell or give them away instead of throwing them out.

Also, avoid unnecessary trips. If you can't fit all your stuff in your vehicle, consider using a moving service. To find a good company, read online reviews, then check out their websites to see if they use eco-friendly equipment and supplies and utilize efficient routes. Arrange a meeting to go over your needs and get a written estimate. Don't settle for an over-the-phone quote, and expect legitimate movers to do an in-home inspection before providing you with a price.

We all need to be conscious of how our actions impact the environment around us, and where you choose to live can make a big difference! The more people continue to demand eco-friendly housing, the more eco-friendly housing will be built, and the better off we’ll be.

Trust Coyote Worx Consulting to oversee your leasing, tenants, maintenance, evictions, and more. Call 928-607-4275 to schedule a consultation!

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