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Being Greener When You Rent
By: Stephanie Foster
Renting can be frustrating when you want to go green. There are a lot of things you just don't have control over. You generally
don't own the appliances, can't install solar panels, etc. It gets annoying sometimes.
I deal with this a lot as I do still rent. We're fortunate enough to be renting a house rather than an apartment, but there are still a lot
Start By Saving Energy
Even when you can't replace that cranky old refrigerator, you can still save energy. Start with the light bulbs. Switch out to compact
fluorescent lights, or CFLs. In many areas you can find them at a discount through your local electric company. I've seen them
under $2.50 for a 3-pack in my area due to discounts run through my power company. Take advantage.
There is one catch to CFLs if you have a lot of closed fixtures. The standard spiral bulbs don't work as well in closed fixtures.
According to energystar.gov, you are best off using a reflector CFL in these areas. Similarly, if you have dimmer switches, you will
want to be sure that your bulbs will work with these.
Also try to find out about recycling these, as they have a small amount of mercury and should not be just thrown in the trash. In my
area Kohl's recycles them.
You should also think more about when you are using electricity. Power down the computer if you won't be using it for a time.
Unplug appliances that don't need to be plugged in all the time. Unplug the cell phone charger and other chargers.
Power strips can also be a big help. Use them to shut off all power to multiple items at once. This takes care of the "phantom load"
that many electrical items have where they use electricity even when off. Often this is to run a clock or other nonessential. If you
don't need it to have electricity 24/7, find a way to make shut