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The Green Life: Green your Apartment: Lure the Landlord

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October 31, 2011

Green your Apartment: Lure the Landlord

LandlordIf you rent your little space in the world, many of the commonest green-living tips don’t apply: You can’t keep a garden (much less a compost pile), weatherize your home, or install solar panels. Even remodeling and keeping pets could be off limits. So, when you don’t own the deed, what can you do to go green? This week’s tips tell you what.

Tip #1: Cozy up to management.

You may not be the decider about whether your building has a recycling program, solar panels, or, say, a book swap. But someone is. Befriend that someone, then tell him or her that you’re willing (if you are) to pay a bit more in rent for the building to have a recycling program or solar panels installed, or that you’re willing (again, if you are) to volunteer to turn that asphalt lot into a community garden. There’s power in numbers, so collect a few of your floormates — or circulate a petition in your building — before approaching your landlord (it helps to have built community first). For a better chance at getting to yes, explain the benefits that management will reap: lowered energy bills, a building that’s more attractive to potential tenants, higher renter loyalty, and so on.

Tip #2: Find eco-roommates.

Tip #3: Get good with your neighbors.

Tip #4: Look into the future.

Tell us: How do you green your apartment life?

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