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A Quick and Easy Guide to Eco-Friendly Rentals


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Many decisions go into choosing a rental, such as square footage, cost, and proximity to your workplace. Another factor to think about is the environment. By choosing a green rental, you can save money as well as reduce your carbon footprint.

Look for Green Buildings

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) works with businesses to ensure they’re using sustainable practices when constructing new buildings. These buildings carry green certificates and use 20 to 30% less energy on average, saving renters money on utility bills.

Smart Thermostats

Thermostats come in two basic types: programmable and nonprogrammable. Programmable models save energy by automatically adjusting the temperature at preselected times. You can program the thermostat to turn on the heat or air conditioning when you’re normally at home and raise or lower the temperature while you’re at work, thereby using less energy. If your rental doesn’t have one already, you can usually install a smart thermostat yourself. Be sure to first get permission from your landlord, and make sure the voltage of your building is compatible.

Go Solar

Renting an apartment with solar panels is an eco-friendly choice that can save you money on your utility bills, since electricity from solar is usually cheaper than electricity from the grid. Solar panels convert sunlight into electrical energy, so they work best when installed in sunny areas like Rohnert Park, CA.

Choose Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs and Appliances With Energy Star Labels

Many eco-friendly homes have energy-efficient appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers. The Energy Star program estimates a typical Energy Star washer uses up to 50% less energy than a normal washer.

Appliances must meet or exceed government standards to earn the Energy Star label. The program helped popularize compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Small Changes Make a Big Difference

It’s easier than you might think to make small changes that make a big difference. You can schedule regular service visits, switch out air filters and furnace filters, and clean the dryer lint trap. Savings add up when you take these small steps, so paying attention to the little things can save you a lot of money. Other things you can do to save money and help the environment include:

  • Caulking any air leaks
  • Using LED bulbs
  • Replacing old windows with double-pane windows to save energy and reduce outside noise
  • Replacing inefficient showerheads with low-flow showerheads
  • Replacing old appliances with high-efficiency models
  • Insulating hot water pipes and radiators
  • Avoiding extreme thermostat settings

Planning the Move

If you’re planning to move and need to transport multiple large pieces of furniture, it’s best to hire professional movers. Look for companies in Rohnert Park, CA, that utilize eco-friendly furniture mover solutions that minimize waste and use efficient routing. If you’re concerned about costs, check online for offers or referral credits. Before meeting with the company to get a quote, see what other customers thought of their service by reading online reviews.

A Win-Win

By choosing an eco-friendly rental, you can save money and help the environment at the same time. Contact Somo Village to learn how this sustainable community in Rohnert Park, CA, incorporates eco-friendly options into its design.

Written by Lisa Walker of

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