(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

It can be frustrating as a renter to be stuck with an inefficient heating system or appliance and to resist the urge to buy solar panels to test out on your balcony. Our options are limited and while we can fill our homes with greener options for furniture and housewares, we have little control over the actual space. Here are 5 easy ways to reduce your impact without getting evicted.

  1. Caulk Your Windows: A big way to improve the efficiency of your heating is to eliminate leaks by re-caulking your windows for added insulation. Michelle recently wrote a fabulous post on caulking.
  2. Hang Blackout Curtains: Blackout or Thermal curtains help insulate the house in the winter and cool it in the summer. They also provide sound and light insulation. A great investment and you can take them with you to your next home.
  3. Convert all Lighting to CFLs: I hated the original compact fluorescents as they had a harsh light and pretty much ruined the look of any decently designed lamp. But I have been able to find low-wattage frosted glass CFLs at IKEA that cast a warmer light closer to traditional incandescent bulbs. They seem to last just as long as CFLs and I've replaced most of my lights with them.
  4. Make a Toilet Water Dam: To turn your toilet into a low-flow toilet you can make your own water displacer. Simply take a plastic bottle 600 mls – 1 liter, fill with water and place inside of the tank. This will reduce your water use per flush.
  5. Clear Dust from your Refrigerator: Keep your refrigerator fan clear of dust. The motor won't be working as hard to cool the fridge if the fan is working properly.
  6. (Image: Alyssa Remington, Alisha's Guest Cottage)