Green renting

As many apartment owners know, it’s not always easy being green. There are some constraints – but also a great many opportunities.

Here are our top tips for apartment owners desiring a more sustainable lifestyle:

  1. If you’re in the market – look for a north-facing apartment or one with good sunlight to living areas. Orientation is important because external modifications, like awnings, may not allowed by body corporate rules.
  2. Reduce, reuse, recycle – more apartment residents are now setting up communal worm farms and composting units to transform their organic food waste, literally turning ‘rubbish’ into rich, fertile garden goods.
  3. Grow your own food – talking of rich, fertile garden goods, try some permaculture in pots on your balcony or window sill. Explore the My Smart Garden website for tips on container gardening and free workshops.
  4. Get an audit – audit your building’s energy use in common areas including lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation, hot water and building amenities. Recent energy audits by subscribers to Smart Blocks identified annual energy savings of up to 60 per cent with around a three year payback on investments.
  5. Organise your e-waste – what do you do with your batteries, phones and light bulbs? Set up communal collection boxes to help residents recycle. Council accepts e-waste and other recyclables at the transfer station. For more information, go to our waste section

  6. Improve your indoor air quality – That ‘new’ furniture smell is often not so good for you, as the source is usually emissions from synthetic materials. A clean air study by NASA suggests that a wide variety of plants can filter unhealthy emissions from the air.

  7. Install renewable energy – Apartment owners have successfully installed solar panels on two-storey developments through to high rise buildings. It takes cooperation and planning, but the payback and environmental outcomes are well worth it. Be inspired by the case studies at Smart Blocks.

  8. Get back to basics – like a clean apartment but loathe the fumes and the thought of pouring chemicals down the drain? You can make your own natural cleaning products using ingredients like baking soda, lemon, pure soap flakes, salt, and white vinegar. All have great cleaning properties – and won’t make you dizzy.

  9. Stop those draughts – people in all types of dwellings throughout the ages have had to deal with draughts. These days you can buy simple products like door snakes, or adhesive door and window strips to seal up the air gaps. Draught proofing can improve your comfort and energy usage enormously, especially if you live in an older apartment.

For more sustainability tips for renters visit Sustainability Victoria website.

Last updated: Thursday, 6 June 2019, 10:04 PM