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You don’t have to be a homeowner if you want to practice a bit of green living. There might be some limitations, but if you’re renting and eager to save some money on energy (and save the planet while you’re doing it), there are plenty of simple changes you can make in your household.
Whether you’re renting long term or short term, it’s never too difficult to live a little more sustainably. Here’s how:
This is one of the easiest and most inexpensive switches you can make in your rented home. For just a few dollars apiece, you can swap out your old incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient ones. LED and CFL bulbs use far less energy but still output high-quality lighting. Plus, you can take them with you when you move. Win win!
Energy monitors hover around the $100 mark but they’re a handy accessory to have, and could end up paying for themselves over a few years. You can easily keep track of your electricity usage and even set an alert to let you know when you’ve used a certain amount of energy for that day.
You’ll save dollars off every energy bill with a programmable thermostat, but it has to be used correctly! By setting it at energy-saving temperatures and ensuring it’s only cooling or heating when you’re at home, you won’t be wasting unnecessary electricity. The good news is that many modern air conditioners come with this feature built in, so you could save money and emissions without even having to think about it.
It’s too easy to drift off in the shower and waste an unnecessary amount of water. Try timing your showers and keep them to 5 minutes or under to save both energy and water. If your landlord allows it (and why wouldn’t they?), put in a request to change your showerhead for a water-efficient type.
Even if you’re not using your microwave, toaster or TV and it’s still turned on at the wall, it’s using standby energy and costing you money. To make it much easier to switch off your appliances that aren’t in use, use power strips so you can control multiple appliances simultaneously.
Sure, they’ll cost a little more initially, but appliances with a high energy rating will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. So if you’re due for a new washing machine or fridge, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient make or model for more sustainable living. As an added bonus, the better the appliance is made, the longer it’ll last, which means less money spent on replacing it.
If you’re renting an older home, there’s bound to be some cracks and gaps that are letting out all your cool or warm air while letting the outside temperature in. If your landlord is fine with it, seal them up to keep the air in. You can also purchase fabric draught-stoppers to stop air from travelling under doors.
Need an excuse to rearrange the living room? Your furniture placement could be working against you and your energy bill. If your layout is preventing breezes or your air conditioner from doing their job, it’s going to cost you more to cool (or heat) your home. Better furniture positioning will promote better airflow throughout the home.