Posted on 4/3/2024 by Jessie Jacob

Making an Eco-Friendly Rental

One of the major reasons people love vacationing to the Charleston area is its breathtaking natural beauty.

However, climate change is quickly endangering our beautiful home (and the entire planet). If we work together as a community to do our part in becoming more environmentally conscious, not only are we taking steps to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, but we can save money in the long run! As Earth Day quickly approaches, we're sharing some simple but impactful steps you can take to make your rental property eco-friendly. The Earth thanks you!

1. install a programmable thermostat

By simply removing your old thermostat and replacing it with a programmable one, you will see dramatic savings on your monthly energy bill. These devices allow you to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your property by running your HVAC system at a constant level throughout the day. You can also set a schedule for your unit that reflects your daily activity, reducing your home's energy usage and putting less wear and tear on your HVAC system.

2. Swap-Out Your Light Bulbs

Want to save on your electric bill and home maintenance costs? Of course you do! All you need to do is swap out your lightbulbs with LED bulbs.

These lights last for 50,000 hours and use six times less energy than incandescent bulbs. This greatly reduces the frequency they will need to be changed and the cost to power them. LED bulbs, unlike other eco-friendly lights, don't contain hazardous mercury in them and don't take additional time to reach full brightness. No matter how many people it takes to change the lightbulbs, both your wallet and the planet will thank you.

3. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR Appliances

Thinking more long-term, upgrading your property's appliances to one's with an ENERGY STAR label will both help the environment and save you money. The initial investment may be higher than some of our other suggestions but will provide an upgrade that guests will recognize as helping the planet. This government-trusted certification verifies that these appliances are energy efficient and reduce harmful greenhouse emissions. When it comes time to upgrade, be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR label.

4. Save At The Tap

Bathrooms are responsible for the use of more than 50 percent of all indoor water use in a home. The EPA has made it extremely easy to reduce your home's water usage and have it running more efficiently by purchasing WaterSense-labeled products. According to the EPA, "WaterSense-labeled products and services are certified to use at least 20 percent less water, save energy, and perform as well as or better than regular models".

For example, switching to a WaterSense showerhead will use about 2,700 gallons less water per year for the average family. That is the same amount needed to wash 88 loads of laundry! Upgrading your sinks, showers, and toilets to WaterSense products will reduce your water bill, electric bill, and help our environment.

5. Freshen Up The Paint

Part of regular rental property upkeep is to routinely apply a fresh coat of paint. When the time comes for your next touch-up, consider the vast array of environmentally friendly options to help reduce the amount of pollutants we put into the air. Look for water-based paints with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can have hazardous side effects from being inhaled ranging from eye, nose, and throat irritation to damaging vital organs. Help improve the air quality for both you and your guests by painting responsibly.

6. Eliminate Plastic Bottles

Allow your guests to enjoy a drink of fresh, chemical-free water — without the harmful waste of plastic bottles. Installing a water filtration system onto your tap is a convenient amenity that allows guests seeking an eco-friendly vacation to safely enjoy a cold glass of water without harming the environment.

7. Recycle

As a property owner, it can be very challenging to monitor the waste disposal habits of those staying in your property. To promote environmentally conscious habits, having a clearly marked bin for the disposal of recyclable items such as plastic, glass, and paper with a chart that displays what items are appropriate for each bin is a helpful reminder for guests. Providing this information is a simple step towards reducing our carbon footprint and protecting our beautiful planet.

Don't let Earth Day be the only day you celebrate Mother Earth. By following these simple steps, you can create an eco-friendly oasis that honors her every day!

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