Our Guest author is Lisa Walker of Neighborhoodsprouts.org
Be selective about your moving company.
All moving companies are not alike. Some employ more environmentally-friendly practices than others. Look for a moving company that pledges to take fuel-efficient routes and will use the most appropriately-sized vehicle for your needs. Use websites like Angi to start looking for movers, but always make sure they show up in-person to give you a quote. Would be impossible to give you an accurate number over the phone, and those that do probably aren’t as professional as they claim.
Decorate with sustainable products.
Chances are, you’ll have to invest in at least a few new pieces when you move. Style Coop has a vast selection of towels, blankets, coasters, and more for your new rental. You can also avoid buying new products. There are plenty of places to buy and sell furniture online; Well Kept Wallet lists Craigslist, Facebook, and Etsy among them.
Look for a property with Energy-Star appliances.
Since 1992, most name brand appliances have come with the Energy Star label. This is a voluntary program that lets manufacturers showcase the energy efficiency of their appliances. However, if you’re moving into a rental, there’s a chance that it’s outfitted with outdated appliances. Ask your future landlord about the age of the washer, dryer, refrigerator, hot water heater, and dishwasher. You’ll also want to touch base about the HVAC unit, as, according to GreenLogic Energy, this is the number one energy-using appliance in a home or apartment.
Remember, walkable is best.
Your new home or apartment isn’t the only thing leaving a footprint on the environment, the amount you use your vehicle also matters. Look for a location that allows you to walk to the vast majority of places you want to go. Do keep in mind, however, that even most healthy people shouldn’t walk more than 30 miles each day. To find something that is generally walkable, look at its Walk Score, which is a measure of how easy it is to reach common amenities and needs without relying on the use of a vehicle.
Ask for updates.
No matter the type of property you’re seeking, before you move in, ask your landlord to do things like caulk the windows and add weatherstripping to the doors. You also want to make sure that they’ve recently replaced the HVAC filter.
Reach for the sun.
If you’re looking to truly have an impact on the environment, look for an apartment, condo, or rental that utilizes solar power. You can ask your landlord to install solar panels or, if they refuse, invest in a portable solar panel system for your own personal use. At the very least, make sure your new rental has plenty of natural light. Big windows and skylights are best. Moving is exciting. But, you have to be environmentally aware throughout the process. The above tips can help you make your move on minimizing your negative impact on this fragile third rock we call home.
When you’re ready to shop for a cause, browse Style Coop. Each purchase comes in a plastic-free shipping container and is guaranteed to be unique, ethically sourced, and amazing.