Eco-Friendly Living for Renters: Small Steps for a Greener Home

Lisa Mailhot  |  March 21, 2024


Eco-Friendly Living for Renters: Small Steps for a Greener Home


As a renter, it's easy to feel like you have little control over the environmental impact of your living space. With the landlord's approval, you can only install solar panels, replace appliances, or undertake significant renovations. However, being a renter doesn't mean you have to compromise on your eco-friendly lifestyle. You can take numerous steps to drastically cut your greenhouse gas emissions and live more sustainably with a few simple changes and mindful choices.

Embrace Energy Efficiency

While you may not be able to replace windows or upgrade to energy-efficient appliances, you can still take steps to minimize your energy consumption. Invest in smart power strips and unplug electronics when not in use. Use LED light bulbs because they consume less energy and have a longer lifespan. During the colder months, opt for a portable electric heater instead of cranking up the central heating system. In the summer, rely on fans and strategically open windows to maximize airflow and natural ventilation.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

One of the easiest ways to live more sustainably is to adopt a mindset of reducing waste and reusing items whenever possible. Before making a purchase:

  1. Ask yourself if you need it or can borrow, rent, or buy it second-hand.
  2. Embrace thrift stores, yard sales, and online marketplaces for gently used items.
  3. When recycling, familiarize yourself with your local program and ensure you're sorting correctly.

Greener Cooking and Cleaning

If your rental has a gas stove, consider investing in a portable induction cooktop or electric appliance like an air fryer or toaster oven. These energy-efficient alternatives can help you reduce your reliance on gas. When cleaning, ditch harsh chemicals and opt for eco-friendly, plant-based products or make your own using simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.


Thoughtful Landscaping

You can incorporate sustainable gardening practices even if you have a small outdoor space. Plant drought-tolerant and native species that require less water and maintenance. Grow your own herbs, vegetables, or fruit trees to reduce your carbon footprint from transporting produce. If you have a lawn, consider replacing it with a low-water ground cover or xeriscaping.


Living an eco-friendly lifestyle as a renter may require creativity and flexibility, but your impact is well worth the effort. Small steps add up, and every conscious choice contributes to a healthier planet. 

Let's connect if you're considering a move within Orange County and want to explore more sustainable living options. I'd be happy to guide you through the process of finding a rental property that aligns with your eco-friendly values.


Reference: “The Compost: How renters can go green” by Brooke Staggs. Published on March 20, 2024.

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