Eco-Friendly Practices for Renters

April 16, 2024

Eco-friendly practices for renter in London, Ontario.

When you’re renting, it’s easy to think that you’re limited when it comes to implementing eco-friendly practices in your apartment. However, you may be surprised to learn how many simple changes you can make to reduce your environmental impact and transition to a sustainable lifestyle.

The Importance of Sustainable Apartment Living

Sustainable living isn’t just the latest buzzword. It’s a way of life that more and more people are adopting to reduce their carbon footprints and gain perspective on what’s truly important in our lives. We can all make small changes to our daily routines that ultimately make a large impact on the energy we use, the waste we generate, and the planet we share.

Eco-Friendly Apartment Practices

Grow Your Own Herbs and Vegetables

Herbs growing on an apartment windowsill.

Growing herbs and vegetables isn’t as difficult as you might think, even in an apartment! You can easily grow plants on your balcony or anywhere that gets natural sunlight. Hydroponic gardens are a great option, since they use water instead of soil and are often designed for indoor use in small spaces. Homegrown food doesn’t just improve your unit’s air quality, it instantly reduces your carbon footprint it saves you money and tastes better! You can purchase herbs and vegetables at local greenhouses like Heeman’s right here in London!

Reduce Garbage Production

Reducing garbage production in an apartment.

One of the simplest ways to instantly reduce your environmental impact is to cut down on household garbage. Be mindful of what you throw away and invest in solutions like reusable water bottles to replace single-use products. Finally, take on a Zero Waste Challenge, like the one Reep Green conducted in Waterloo Region. Grab a 1 litre mason jar and challenge yourself to fit all your single-use waste in the jar for 7, 14, or 30 days. You’ll gain a new understanding of just how much we throw away and develop new ideas for how to reduce your household waste!


An apartment tenant recycling.

Recycling is an easy way to immediately make your home more eco-friendly. Metal, plastic, and paper can all be recycled, and household goods like cardboard boxes, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles are usually eligible. Be sure to also recycle old electronics, as their components can often be used again, and recycling prevents toxic components like mercury from ending up in landfills. To live an eco-friendlier lifestyle, renters should stop using single use plastic bottles at home and on-the-go.

Dispose of Fats, Oils, and Grease Appropriately

Improper disposal of fat, oils, and grease in an apartment.

Image courtesy of the City of London

Did you know? One full FOG Cup can be turned into enough energy to power a refrigerator for a day! Every year, fats, oils, and grease (FOG) clog up our sewer systems because of improper disposal down sinks, toilets, and other plumbing. Once in our sewers, fats, oils, and grease congeal into large, unpleasant masses called “fatbergs” that pollute our water and cost taxpayer money to remove. You can reduce the occurrence of fatbergs by disposing fats, oils, and grease into the FOG Cups provided by the City of London and either throwing them in the garbage or delivering them to a City EnviroDepot. The city will use the FOG Cups to generate green energy. This is an easy and free way to immediately improve the environment we all live in! FOG cups can be picked up at any City EnviroDepot or your local London Public Library.

For more information on FOG disposal, check out this video from the City of London.

Use Energy-Efficient Lighting

Installing energy-efficient light fixtures in an apartment.

Ensure that all lamps in your apartment use efficient LED bulbs and not outdated incandescent lighting. In addition to the energy saving benefits, LED bulbs last longer and generate far less heat, which is safer and protects your home’s wall and furnishings from damage.

Reduce Your Water Usage

An apartment tenant taking steps to reduce their water usage.

Cut down on water usage with simple changes like taking shorter showers, turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, and only running full loads of laundry. If your landlord allows it, you may also install low-flow showerheads or aerators to instantly reduce your water usage.

Another way to reduce your water consumption is by using an ENERGY STAR dishwasher instead of handwashing dishes. Washing dishes by hand tends to be more wasteful since it can use up to 27 gallons of water per load. Whereas an ENERGY dishwasher only uses as little as 3 gallons of water.

Live a Minimalistic Lifestyle

Living a minimalistic lifestyle in an apartment.

The easiest way to live more sustainably is to simply buy and use less. Living an eco-friendly lifestyle starts with choosing to make purchases with sustainability in mind. Exercise restraint and ask yourself what you really need. When you make a purchase, buy items second-hand from stores like London’s own ReDecor’s Consignment. Or opt for natural, eco-friendly products like those from Reimagine Co. Thrift shopping helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions allowing renters to live a more sustainable lifestyle. When you do need to purchase a new item, avoid cheaply made, disposable products and invest in high-quality, long-lasting options that you’ll get many uses out of.

Shop at Certified B Corporations

Certified B Corporations in London, Ontario.

Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, represent an opportunity for renters seeking to make a positive impact through their consumer choices. These companies have undergone rigorous assessments to ensure they meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. When renters choose to support B Corps, they’re endorsing businesses that prioritize the well-being of employees, communities, and the environment as integral parts of their operations. By consciously directing your spending toward B Corps, you’re championing a business ecosystem that values purpose, fostering a more sustainable future for all. This is a tangible practice that allows renters to align their purchasing power with their values and promote environmental change.

Discover Your Dream Apartment with Summit Properties

Start living an eco-friendlier lifestyle with Summit Properties. We have the perfect apartment for you! Contact us today to schedule a viewing with one of our leasing agents.