Finding a green rental home is a feat in itself, but if you are moving overseas, where the standards may be different, it can be even trickier.
EnviroCitizen.org has found that there are ways to tell if you are in an environmentally-conscious place.
1) Look for a place with an active recycling program. Not all places have recycling areas set up, some only have trash. It helps give you an idea of where the landlord or rental company stands. It is also helpful so you don’t have to go all the way to the recycling facility.
2) Look for a sustainable community. There are even websites that give you an overall walking score for different areas. You may not be able to find such information on every destination worldwide, so asking a real estate agent or speaking with locals in the community is possibly your best bet. If a community is easy to walk in, chances are it’s also somewhat green.
3) Choosing a place with community gardening can make it a fine choice, too. Choosing a green community is smart, but one that has a community garden helps keep everyone connected. Some have gardens, flowers, trees and other outdoor features. You will experience a better overall quality of life with lots of green growth around you.
4) The less space you need, the better. Like any renter, you have many options when it comes to apartment size. If you live alone, a three bedroom condo is excessive. The smaller your home, the better it is for the environment. Rent a place that fulfills your home needs but is not excessive.
5) Look for a place with low-energy appliances certified by Energy Star. You can also check out what the unit or complex’s policies are on clotheslines and other eco-friendly options. Also, look for water conserving labels or certifications.
6) Check out weather proofing features before you commit to rent. Check all windows and doors to make sure they are well sealed so that no drafts can come in, requiring more energy to heat or cool the space. Make sure windows are energy efficient and functional. This is both green and a money saver.
7) Rent a place where you can have some flexible decoration rules. There are tons of apartments now where you’re allowed to paint your walls however you like. If they do only allow a certain color selection, ask if you can get some mixed using as low-VOC paint if possible. This will allow for better air quality.
8) Look for a patio or deck. This may not seem green, but renting a place with a patio or deck can allow for gardens and other green practices. You can set up a better recycling center on a porch or create a great container garden with organic flowers and veggies. Also, a porch allows you to get outside into the fresh air.
EnviroCitizen.org suggests you do your research before renting so that you can make sure you find the healthiest, greenest place possible.