Green Living - The Blairs

Green Living: How Far Would Renters Go?

April 20, 2010 | Apartment Lifestyle, Green Living

By Jen Jackowski

Currently, the global community faces challenges and opportunities in creating a healthy, prosperous and clean energy economy now and for the future. So let’s go green and remember that each person can make a difference that shrinks their carbon footprint.

Of course, in the light of this environmental refocus, we were wondering just how willing people were to answer the “go green” call. To quell our curiosity, Rent.com commissioned a national survey to measure and asses Americans’ attitudes toward an eco-friendly lifestyle.

We asked how important green living is to Americans, and in a lagging economy, if monetary considerations preclude choices to embrace a greener lifestyle at home.

Americans Willing to Support Green Initiatives

The results of our survey were pretty interesting: A whopping 86 percent of survey respondents would prefer an eco-friendly living space to one that is not—way to go America!

86 percent of renters prefer an eco-friendly apartment

Even though 66 percent of participants said that money was a barrier toward adopting a greener lifestyle, more than half (55 percent) of respondents were willing to pay more in rent in order to do so!

55 percent of renters would pay more for an eco-friendly apartment

According to the survey, 42 percent would be willing to pay between $50 and $100 more per month in rent for a green apartment, and 13 percent would pay even more than that!

Money and Gender

The survey also found a significant gender difference in respondents’ willingness-to-pay: Women were more willing to pay for an eco-friendly apartment than were men.

In fact, over half of the women surveyed (60 percent) were willing to pay between $50 and $200 more per month in rent compared to 48 percent of the men who were surveyed.

Green Living in Your Apartment

Many apartment complexes that want to decrease their carbon footprint are taking initiatives. The most common, of course, is setting up a recycling program.

Management has to pay for curbside service, which means rent in these establishments may be higher. Of course, if you’re one of the 55 percent of people willing to pay more for green living, then you won’t mind.

As you hunt for a new apartment, be sure to ask the landlords you meet whether they offer building recycling. If so, be sure to follow best practices, only recycling acceptable items. Keep a list on your refrigerator of what items qualify for recycling so you can quickly check before you chuck.

Things You Can Do to Change Your Community

As an individual, you may have more power than you think. Of course, switching all of your light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is a good start, but the planetary impact will be greater if everyone in your building follows suit.

Talk to your landlord and see if you can start a go-green initiative. Type up flyers (on recycled paper, of course) that list simple things people can do to reduce their carbon footprint. That might include using CFLs, turning your lights off when you’re not home, reducing shower time and using natural cleaning products.

Place one of your fliers in every neighbor’s mailbox. Make sure to add a note to the flyer asking readers to recycle it when they’re done.

How important is living an eco-friendly lifestyle to you and how much more rent per month would you be willing to pay for an eco-friendly apartment? Also, what have you done in your community to make a difference for Mother Earth? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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