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3 Renter-Friendly Ideas to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Struggling with being more eco-friendly as a renter? These tips will help you live more sustainably from wherever you are.

eco-friendly renter tips
Written by
Alex Chrisco
It can be difficult to navigate living a more eco-friendly lifestyle when you're renting. As a renter, you're typically unable to install any new hardware (such as a more energy-efficient HVAC system or water heater), and you aren’t allowed to do anything that “permanently” alters the property (like installing a smart thermostat to help you watch your energy usage).
It can be frustrating to feel limited in what you can and can’t do to live more sustainably. But fear not—here are three ideas you can implement to help
reduce waste
while renting.

3 Renter-Friendly Ideas That Help You Live More Sustainably

1. Start a Small Compost Bin

While most landlords probably won’t let you have an industrial-size compost bin on your balcony or back porch, there are still ways to compost. Simply collecting your
food scraps
and waste during the week in a bucket with a lid goes a long way. You can also
connect with local farmers
and gardeners to find someone to give your scraps to.
Not only are you reducing trash in landfills, but you're also giving the organic waste in your home a new life as fertilizer. If you live in a suburban or urban area, local services like
are also a great resource. For a small monthly fee, they'll pick up your compost bin either weekly or biweekly. In return, you also gain access to compost that you can use to bolster your garden.

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2. Get Into Gardening

Speaking of gardening... most landlords won’t let you plant an
entire homestead’s worth
of crops in your backyard. But there are several small, renter-friendly plants that you can keep on your balcony or back porch.
Herbs are a
great starter plant
. They can grow indoors, on a windowsill, or counter, and outdoors on a balcony. You can start with seeds or transplants from a friend. They're also very low-cost: Once you purchase the pot, some soil, and seeds, all you need is water and sun to keep them growing. You'll not only notice a difference when cooking with fresh herbs, but this change will be reflected in your
grocery budget
. Growing a small herb garden requires minimal effort and start-up costs, but has a big eco-friendly impact.

3. Thrift Your Clothes and Accessories

consignment stores
hold all kinds of treasures. It’s fun to scan the racks for that one piece that gives you the lightbulb moment. The
fashion industry
is one of the biggest polluters, and purchasing only new clothes and accessories perpetuates the consumerism that can blind us from the realities of the climate crisis.
Better yet, take this a step further and vow to simply purchase less! If clothes are something you struggle with, you can participate in something like Project 333, which challenges you to narrow your closet to 33 items to wear for 3 months.