Feature photo via @solarbnb - An eco-rental home in Taos, New Mexico.
In a perfect world, we all live on our own little plot of land with our own little fresh water spring. We all build our own “forever home” complete with solar panels, a rain catchment system and maybe even one of those rooftop gardens where we grow fresh veggies for our omelettes each morning.
But the reality is, we don’t live there…yet. And while ideally, we’d just ask our landlord to renovate their property so we can live more sustainably, chances are that request probably wouldn't be answered during our current leasing agreement. But still, that doesn’t mean we can’t make a few small changes of our own.
Here's our list of 7 Practical Energy Saving Tips When Renting, that you can start using today to live more sustainably and save money on utilities each month.
1) Unplug any appliance that you aren’t using consistently. Appliances that continue to stay plugged are still continuing to use energy, even if they're not in use. Always, always try to remember to unplug, and if you can’t…see tip #2.
2) Invest in a smart power strip. These power strips are designed to monitor and control power to individual outlets and improve energy efficiency. They can sense when a device is not in use and can cut off energy to specific outlets. Don't be intimidated by the word "invest," it'll only cost you around $25 to find one of these on Amazon today.
3) Vacuum and dust your refrigerator coils regularly. Keeping the coils clean helps your refrigerator run more efficiently. The more efficiently your devices are running, the less electricity you're using and the more money you’re saving. Don't over complicate this tip, just include a coil wipe-down once a week when you're already cleaning out the fridge.
4) Displace water in your toilet tank. This one sounds weird, but it’s easy and it works. You can use a ½ gallon less water per flushing by filling a bottle with rocks and setting it in the back of your toilet tank. Just google “toilet displacement system” and pick one of the hundreds of tutorials to follow.
5) Select the appropriate size pan when cooking. When cooking on the stove, did you know that choosing the right size pan can help save energy by heating faster and more efficiently?! An unnecessarily large pan is doing nothing but wasting time and energy.
6) Choose cold water cycles to wash your clothes and then opt for the old-school hang-dry method in the warmer months. Not only can hanging your clothes outside help you save up to $200 a year, experts also say that if every American household line-dried just half of the year it would reduce the country’s total residential carbon dioxide output by 3.3%. By the way, this will also help your clothes last longer!
7) Grow some herbs indoors. Growing our own food reduces the high amounts of fossil fuels used to import food from commercial farms, but you don’t have to plant an entire garden today. Why not start small with a few indoor herbs? It's really not as complicated as it may seem, just put the pots in a sunny window and water regularly. Not only are you helping save the planet but every bite of something you’ve grown yourself tastes 10x better than anything you’ll buy from the grocery…it’s a fact.
Have any additional tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments now!
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