Tips to Save Green for Renters
- Air Conditioning
- Clothes Washer
- Clothes Dryer
- Refrigerator (if it was made before 2001)
- Water Heater
All these are pretty difficult to control when in a renters setting or with low income. But with these tips, no matter where you can save both money and energy.
The Bad Gets Worse
Time to Get Serious About Saving Green
- Even if you’re not in such a desperate situation, turning it up 2-5 degrees, when you’re not home, will save some green.
- What made the biggest difference for us, was adding a layer of bubble wrap and newspaper to the window. Not pretty, but for those concerned with aesthetic this window kit might be a good option.
- Keep your filters changed monthly so they run more efficiently. Also, keep your outside unit hosed out so the dirt doesn’t collect in there and bog it down.
- In the summer, fans will be your best friend. They go such a long way to keep things cooled down.
- Wear light clothing, no socks within a 10-mile radius and try a cool neck towel.
- Depending on your situation, purchasing a room air conditioner might be the fit. Consider an ENERGY STAR qualified model, which use at least 10 percent less energy than standard models. If you don’t use all the rooms in you apartment this might be a good option.
- Monthly, vacuum the coils on the back and take the grate off the front and vacuum any debris that gets under there.
- Keep the doors closed as much as possible.
- Keep them full but not too packed so they don’t use too much power.
- Get a thermometer and make sure they are running at the right temperature. Freezers should be -10 to 0 and refrigerators should be around 35ish or 40.
- A ten minute shower can use less water than a full bath.
- With a new 2.5 gallon-per-minute (low-flow) shower head, a 10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving you five gallons of water over a typical bath. A new showerhead also will save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity — beating out both the bath and an old-fashioned showerhead.
2. Save water by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading in the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air-dry option if available.
3. If you don’t have a dishwasher, scrape the dishes then put them in a sink filled with soapy water, clean, then rinse.
4. Displace Water in Your Toilet Tank Find a plastic bottle. Fill it with gravel. Place it in your toilet tank. You can leave this for the next tenant or take it with you.
Control What You Can:
- Computers, hair dryers, televisions, opening the windows when you can, are things easily in your control. When it’s time to update, make sure you make choices with the environment in mind.
- Unplug. When you’re not using these items, make sure they’re turned off and unplugged.
- Green Lighting. Whether it’s turning off the lights when you’re not using them or updating to compact fluorescent bulbs can save you $100s each year.
- Seal. Make sure everything from your doors and windows to oven is sealed properly to prevent the cool or heat from escaping.
When you don’t have complete control over your living circumstances, it can seem impossible to save green, whether money or energy. It’s important to start small and be encouraged by those differences that start to add up. These tips or combinations will help save green, not just for our pocketbooks, but for the environment, as well. Please share your favorite tips to save green in the comments below!
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