Save money when you save the planet!
Making an impactful change to your sustainability as a renter may seem challenging but following a few simple routines will help reduce your environmental footprint and, in turn, save you money in the long run!
We’ve outlined a few simple habits that will help you rent more sustainably.
1. Save energy where you can
There are several ways you can reduce your energy consumption without breaking the bank! Firstly, you can try to regulate the temperature in your rental home without blasting the air conditioner or heater by draught-proofing your home. Seal gaps around any windows or doors where air may be flowing through to save you energy and money. Sustainability Victoria explains a few more ways you can reduce excess airflow in your rental home on their website.
Another way you can easily save energy is by reducing the number of lights kept on throughout the day. If you’re able, dimming lights will make your rental home 20% more sustainable.
2. Avoid wasting food
One-third of the world’s food is wasted according to the Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment.
Try purchasing food based on meal plans, if you tend to over-buy your groceries or last minute shop.
You can also compost lots of excess food rather than just throwing it in the garbage. Composting also makes excellent fertiliser, and your plants will thank you later on! There are several inexpensive compost farms, some of which are designed to be kept indoors with no odour. Some composts are also government-subsidised for specific areas in Australia; find out more on the Compost Revolution website.
3. Be water conscious
Most State regulations require that properties are equipped with water-saving devices. You can check your ongoing condition report and ask your property manager if you’re unsure. Often owners will happily upgrade this feature.
There are a few other simple ways you can reduce your water use without changing your daily routines.
Firstly, avoiding leaving the tap running when washing the dishes and brushing your teeth can go a long way when it comes to saving water.
When using your washing machine, try putting a full load on each time and using your device’s water-saving mode. If you have a dishwasher, pack it well and only switch it on when it’s full.
You can also limit your time in the shower - a fun tip could be to time your shower with two songs playing on your speaker. And the list goes on!
4. Plant your own food, even with limited outdoor space!
Growing a garden while living in a city apartment may sound like a joke, but it’s more common (and easy) than you may think!
Growing the right eatables at the right time of year could bring you a large harvest of food and ultimately limit the amount of food you may purchase. All you need is a container (a recycled polystyrene box is perfect!) and a spot where the plants will receive 6-8 hours of sun per day.
Check out this ABC article which lists the best plants for small spaces. If the prospect of setting a garden up in your small area seems impossible, you can also get involved in your local community garden!
5. Purchase sustainability-sourced goods
Trying to consciously purchase sustainably sourced fast-moving goods such as food, soap, toilet paper, cleaning products, etc., is another easy way to reduce your environmental footprint.
While some ethically positioned products may seem to have a premium price tag, you can still find decently priced everyday items that aren’t so detrimental to the environment. For example, try to reduce your use of plastic goods by bringing your own bag when shopping or using glass storage containers as opposed to one-use plastic containers.
Take a look at the World Wide Fund for Nature’s website, where they highlight more ways you can shop sustainably.
6. Try walking and burn calories, not carbon
When looking for your next rental property, take into consideration the distance from transport and/or walking distance to work.
Some portals, such as our partner Homely.com.au have walkability scores and suburb reviews that show you the best locations to live to avoid excessive use of your car or public transport to help you cut down on your commuting time.
Working from home where possible also allows you to cut down on your usual transport commute to and from work.
- Draught proofing
- Keep lights switched off when not in use
- Compost food
- Avoid over-shopping, use a meal plan!
- Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth/wash dishes
- Plant your own food
- Purchase sustainably sourced goods
- Avoid plastic, bring your own bag when you shop
- Try walking/public transport instead of driving
Implementing even just a few of these simple habits into your everyday routine will ultimately help you reduce your environmental footprint in the long run and save more than a few dollars.