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How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Rental Home

How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Rental Home
Contributing Writer Lisa Walker

Brevard County, Florida, January 2022

An energy-efficient home is not only good for the environment but also your budget. Many individuals and families want their properties to be as eco-friendly as possible. However, this is often more difficult for those who rent, as they are not free to make as many changes to a house as owners are. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your rental home, condo, or apartment is environmentally friendly.

What to Look For

Data show that the largest percentage of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. Therefore, choosing a rental close to your work is a key ingredient in selecting an eco-friendly home. Other features to look for include efficient appliances, solar panels, and a smart thermostat. If possible, look for a landlord who shares your values regarding the environment. They may be more willing to allow eco-friendly modifications.

What to Upgrade

Some upgrades require the landlord’s permission and may not be worth the investment when you do not own the home. Smaller upgrades, such as light bulbs and showerheads, are ideal for renters because they are not permanent. Store the originals in a safe place so that you can put them back when you move out.

How to Cut Back

If you notice drafts, use caulking to seal the affected areas. This will keep the home better insulated so that you do not have to run the air or heat as much. Install thermal curtains over the windows to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

After doing everything you can to make the structure itself as energy efficient as possible, you can still implement other changes. Choose cold water for laundry and use appliances efficiently. Get a thermometer for the refrigerator to ensure it is not colder than it needs to be. Wash dishes in the dishwasher rather than the sink to save water. Adjust the temperature on the water heater to minimize excess energy usage. Turn off electronics when not in use.

How to Move

Moving often involves a lot of materials and activities that are not very environmentally friendly. Fortunately, there are eco-friendly packing supplies available. Use towels, blankets, and sheets to keep fragile items safe during the move. This saves you from having to use a separate box for the linens and eliminates the need for packing peanuts or other materials. If you do need to purchase protective packing items, choose biodegradable options. Sustainably made tape is available as well. Whenever you start planning your move, keep any boxes that you acquire from deliveries or other sources to not have to purchase new ones.

If you need help moving, there are green moving companies available for hire. These companies look for the most efficient driving routes and use eco-friendly materials whenever possible. Look for professionals qualified to move heavy furniture and who make you feel comfortable. You can read reviews and look for discounts on

When you rent, you do not have complete control of the property. This makes it challenging to have all the eco-friendly amenities you desire. However, it is possible to make minor modifications to the home and your routine so that you and your family create less environmental impact regardless of where you live.

Additional Resources and Information: 

Gas Emissions from Transporation:


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