While a huge number of green improvements can be done without any major upheaval, there is another way to watch those energy-efficient things to happen in your apartment community...
We've noticed LED outside lights, Energy Star appliances, programmable thermostats, and new (hopefully improved) roofing going up all around our apartment complex, so we think our management has the right idea.
There's no harm done, though, in asking your management what they think about a new green improvement.
For example, many apartment communities in Texas have extensive landscaping and sprinkler systems. We've noticed a couple of gardens popping up around our complex, which we think is a great way to utilize some of the area that would otherwise be water-sucking lawn. We're going to ask management if we can do the same.
If they haven't converted to CFLs and LEDs around the complex, encourage them to do so.
Check out your appliances: are they Energy Star rated? If not, approach the powers that be to see what the chances are of an upgrade.
What about pest control, lawn care, pool maintenance, and move-out cleaning: have they thought of ways to make all those things greener?
Most earth-friendly improvements also save energy and money, so it is a win-win situation. There may be plenty of apartment managers who have improvements already in the works, but you can be a pro-active resident and see just where they stand.
Have any of you already started this conversation with your landlord? Please share your success stories with us. (Or failures, but we're hoping there aren't any of those!)
Photo via sxc.hu