eco-friendly amenities

10 Popular Eco-Friendly Amenities for Renters

We’re well into the 2020s now, and many apartment communities are getting with the times by adding eco-friendly amenities to units. This is a clear win/win for everyone involved — the renter, the property manager and Earth as a whole. If only all decisions were so clear-cut!

Green amenities for eco-friendly renters

The list of available eco-friendly amenities is constantly growing and changing. Here are a few of the most common green features that renters can find during their apartment search.

Cigarettes in an ashtray.

1. Non-smoking buildings

Cigarettes and their smoke are not only bad for people’s lungs — they’re also terrible for the planet, too. Toxic cigarette butts are not only unsightly litter but they also pollute the land, water and air with nasty chemicals. E-cigarette waste is now also a growing concern.

To protect people and the planet, many apartment communities are designating all or some buildings as “non-smoking.”

Featured communities that offer non-smoking buildings:

Recycling bins, one of the most populars eco-friendly amenities.

2. On-site recycling

One would certainly hope that in this day and age on-site recycling is a given, but not all apartment communities offer it.

Definitely check to see if this ultra-important amenity is available. If not, inquire with your landlord about how to get it started!

Featured communities that offer on-site recycling:


3. ENERGY STAR® certified appliances

If an appliance dies nowadays, chances are good that the apartment community will replace it with an ENERGY STAR® certified version. The federal government backs such models because they provide the necessary function (dishwashing, clothes drying, refrigeration, etc.), but in a more energy-efficient manner.

Although these models are more expensive up front, they actually save the landlord money over time because it costs less to power them. In fact, 2019 alone saw ENERGY STAR products save about $39 billion in energy costs.

Featured communities that offer ENERGY STAR® certified appliances:


4. Certified efficient windows

Another in the portfolio of ENERGY STAR products certified efficient windows can save money and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Replacing single-pane windows can save $101 to $583 per year and thousands of pounds worth of carbon dioxide!

Featured communities that offer certified efficient windows:

Car charging electrically.

5. Electric vehicle charging stations

Electric vehicles are finally on the upswing in the U.S. Savvy apartment communities are adding EV charging stations to their list of amenities to attract eco-minded renters. This is a big deal because the majority of charging happens at home, rather than at public charging stations.

So, if a community can’t accommodate a potential renter’s car charging needs, the tenant will keep looking until they find a place that can.

Featured communities that offer EV charging stations:

Man putting down solar panels, one of the most populars eco-friendly amenities.

6. Solar panels

It wasn’t that long ago that solar panels were too expensive for anyone but the very affluent to afford. Now, they’re coming down in price and many apartment communities are taking advantage.

Although installation still isn’t cheap, over time solar installations save a lot of money on utility costs. Then, of course, there are the environmental benefits, like lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants.

Just be aware that this eco-friendly amenity often comes with higher rent prices to cover the installation cost, so you’ll probably pay more for peace of mind.

Featured communities that offer solar panels:

LEED certified apartments.

7. LEED certification

More common among brand-new or newly renovated properties, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is a green building rating system used all over the world.

To get LEED certification a property must meet a bunch of standards, designed to improve indoor air quality, reduce pollution, limit exposure to chemicals and lower energy consumption, among others. The typical renter pays up to 20 percent more per month on rent for these green upgrades, but definitely reap the physical benefits, so there’s that.

Featured communities that offer LEED certification:

Smart Thermostat, one of the most populars eco-friendly amenities.

8. Smart thermostats

Here’s one eco-friendly amenity that isn’t pricey at all to install. Smart thermostats take the guesswork out of heating and air conditioning.

For one, they sense once you’ve left the building and adjust the temperature setting accordingly (no sense paying to overly heat a space no one’s occupying at the moment). You can also easily set a schedule and check on or adjust it remotely.

All of these perks mean that energy is saved (not to mention the dollars saved for whoever pays the bill too).

Featured communities that offer smart thermostats:

HVAC filter.

9. Upgraded HVAC filtration

HVAC systems have come a long way in recent years. So when the old ones die (or become woefully inadequate) property managers often opt to replace them with upgraded versions. An ENERGY STAR-certified system is ideal because they are 10 to 15 percent more efficient than the unrated versions. Every bit of efficiency saves money and energy because it more seamlessly cools and heats the space.

Featured communities that offer upgraded HVAC filtration:

Community garden, one of the most populars eco-friendly amenities.

10. Community gardens

Many renters are no longer stuck only growing whatever fits inside or on their tiny porch. Instead, lots of apartment communities have established community food and flower gardens as a way to encourage community, healthy eating and good old-fashioned outdoor time.

Some even include community compost heaps, where residents can responsibly dispose of compostable waste like eggshells, veggie scraps and coffee grounds!

Featured communities that offer community gardens:

Eco-friendly amenities are here to stay

Every eco-friendly amenity really adds up when it comes to helping the planet. Even if the unit you’re in (or the one you’re looking at) doesn’t sport some of these, broach the subject with the landlord. It can’t hurt to inquire, and maybe some positive changes will result!


Get connected with the best moving company!

like a boss!

Sign up to keep up with all the best…

Rent like a boss!

Sign up to keep up with all the best…