For a multitude of reasons, we all need to start being a little nicer to our home. We're talking about the home we all share — Earth! We've got some tips for how you can help keep cleaner from the comfort of your very home.
I see the light
Electricity: We can't live without it. For that reason, it can put some real stress on your wallet, and also on greenhouse gas emissions. It contributed to about 28% of overall emissions in 2016, coincidentally the same amount as did transportation. Our largest source of electricity comes from fossil fuels, a non-renewable option. So what does this all mean?
Multifamily homes are working to be smarter about how the building and its residents use energy. The easiest switch to make is your lightbulbs. You've been hearing about this for years now, but facts are facts: Using LED lightbulbs saves you energy and money. They last longer, emit less heat, and use a lot less energy than incandescent bulbs. They can also be paired with motion sensors in common areas around your building to ensure lights are on only when they need to be!
Don't get put on standby
So you turned everything off, but is it really cut off from power? A decent portion of your energy bill comes from your devices being left plugged in even while they're turned off. For smaller spaces, an easy fix is a power strip — instead of needing to unplug everything while you're running out the door, all you'll have to do is flip one switch. Nowadays there are all kinds of options, from manually powering off your devices or doing so remotely. We're bound to continue increasing our number of devices, so there's no reason we shouldn't advance in how we manage them.
Brrr, it's cold in here
Loosen up on your AC usage while you're not home. Turning up the heat a little will use less energy and less money. You can invest in energy-efficient windows for your building to help trap heat in cold weather and block heat in warm weather. You can also install equipment to control your temperature remotely, like a Nest, Ecobee, or any of these options!
New York is rolling out a new mandate to require buildings to follow codes like these, with some of the first goals slated for improvements by 2025 (only 6 years away). This also includes developers investing in renewable energy sources like wind and solar to power their buildings. There's some concern as to how these new rules will affect rent prices in a city already known for its high living costs, but there's still time to make sure affordability stays top of mind.
THere's always room for mobility
Want to help reduce your building's carbon footprint? A simple way to do this is to provide a bike rack or cage for residents. Biking is the poster child for sustainability — it's healthy, clean, and only requires energy provided by the rider. Adding room for electric vehicles is another way you can modify your building's garage to be a little greener.
Paying attention to these trends can be important for keeping your property competitive with others, especially as people demand more sustainable living options. Renters are actually willing to pay nearly $30 more a month to live in buildings with green certifications. There's a clear value and demand for properties to go greener, and it's easier than ever to fit sustainability into your home.