Posted Oct 17, 2013
How Green Living Can Benefit Renters
Many homeowners and property developers have reaped the benefits of green building, but just because you rent rather than own, doesn’t mean you can’t also see meaningful value from sustainable living. Whether you’re looking to relocate, or already settled in your rental, “going green” can dramatically impact your bottom line as a renter.
What Is A Green Building?
Green buildings are considered sustainable or high performance buildings. Developers who practice green building create structures through processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient. Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the building itself on the natural environment and human health by efficiently using resources, protecting resident and employee health and productivity and reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.
Green Buildings = Luxury Amenities
With demand for green living on the rise throughout the country, more and more high performance buildings are being developed which offer luxury amenities, stylish aesthetics and of course, a sustainable lifestyle. As you search for a new apartment rental here are some of the top eco-friendly amenities green buildings offer renters to keep in mind.
- Improved Air Quality and Filtration: If you’ve ever rented in an older unit, you know how important air quality can be. You’ll no longer need to worry about the risk of mold or excessive dust because new, green certified buildings focus on improved air quality and filtration.
- Energy Efficient Windows: Low energy windows and enhanced insulation make for the perfect energy and cost saving combination. These green solutions help keep warm air in your home during cold weather and cool air in your home when it’s hot, drastically reducing energy bills and keeping you comfortable. Putting new energy efficient windows into older units is an expensive process but pays off in the long run, so be thankful for this amenity, especially if you’re responsible for the energy bill as it will save you a hefty sum throughout your tenancy!
- Special Building Materials: Not only do many environmentally conscious developers use recycled materials for construction, but they also source the majority of their building materials regionally. You can sleep well knowing your home helped reduce negative impact on the community, reduced waste going to landfill and supported the local economy, all crucial components of the bottom line of sustainability.
Establishing Efficiencies In An Existing Rental
Even if you don’t reside in a new, state-of-the-art sustainable building, making small improvements to your home can improve its overall efficiency which means cost savings for you every month.
- Heat: Monthly utility bills tend to surge in the winter months and while buying an extra throw blanket or brewing a hot cup of tea might be a short term solution to living without heat, it certainly won’t suffice on unbearably cold winter nights. Investing in energy efficient space heaters is a great way to save money by heating only the rooms you need, rather than your entire home. You can find these portable heaters at every budget ranging from $40-$400. If you have a central heating system, be aware of what you set the temperature to in your home. According to Green Living Apartments, if you turn your thermostat down by just two degrees, (and up two degrees in the summer months) you will save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide this year alone, which means more money in your pocket!
- Water: If you’re not renting in a green building, you probably don’t have low flow toilets or shower heads. In most cases you won’t have the authority to change the toilets in your unit, but you can certainly update your shower head! Low flow shower heads can decrease bathing water consumption by 50-70%, but don’t have a dramatically different feel so you won’t have to compromise on water pressure. Plus, with demand for low flow shower heads rising, you can find various models around $20 that come equipped with innovative features, such as a pause button on the shower head to give you plenty of time to lather up!
- Electricity: One of the simplest ways to save on your utility bill is to turn off and unplug any device that runs on electricity when you’re not using it. Really, it’s that easy! This includes your phone and computer chargers, toaster, blender, printer, etc. You can also install compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) which not only provide energy saving light, but last an average of six times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs!
- Green Accessories: If you want even easier ways to go green in your rental (well, maybe not easier than turning off the lights), stock up on some basic supplies including, environmentally friendly cleaning products, indoor plants to reduce pollutants and solar flashlights.
Top Green Listings on Lovely
Slate Apartments and Lofts (Seattle, WA) is an urban sanctuary featuring state-of-the-art in unit and property amenities.
Youngstown Flats (Seattle, WA) features a rooftop deck where you can lounge, dine and even grow your own basil and tomatoes!
Etta Apartments (San Francisco, CA) merges style and sustainability as Etta pursues LEED gold certification.