Top 10: Green Ways to Pick a New Apartment

Top 10: Green Ways to Pick a New Apartment

Stephanie Kinnear
Nov 18, 2008

We have a love/hate relationship with moving. We love the opportunity it provides to really purge and organize -- we also love the prospect of finding that perfect place. We hate moving because it's hard work and apartment hunting can be stressful.

But, whenever we do move, we like to evaluate each new apartment or house we look at with a few standard questions in mind. Our top 10 ways to pick a green apartment are after the jump. Please add your own in the comments!

1. The Goldilocks Rule: Is it just the right size? Too small will make you crazy and you'll be tempted to move again in the near future. Too big is a waste of energy and space. Get one that's just right for you.

2. Is it within walking/biking distance of a local grocery store and a few coffee shops and restaurants? This will seriously cut down on your driving.

3. Is it close to public transportation? Again, cuts down on the driving.

4. Is it close to where you work? Can you walk or bike to work, or get there via public transportation?

5. Is it well-insulated? Or is it drafty? Ask.

6. Does it get good light? This will make you happier and it will cut down on the lights you need on during the day.

7. Is it carpeted or does it have hard flooring? Now, we're a little biased here; but, carpet picks up and holds onto all kinds of gross stuff that you'll end up breathing. Hard floors are easier to keep clean and better for people with allergies.

8. How old are the appliances? If they look antique, there could be trouble. If they look new, you're probably in the clear. (Bonus for Energy Star labels.)

9. Does the landlord seem friendly/attentive -- like he/she cares about the apartment? This is important and it might be hard to tell -- but you should get a gut feeling. If the answer is yes, that's good -- they'll move quickly on things like leaky faucets and will be more open to your green suggestions down the road. (e.g., hanging laundry to dry out back, or investing in low-flow fixtures, etc.)

10. Do you love the place? This one is very important, even if only vaguely green. Moving can be a big energy, money, and time suck -- so you want a place that you'll stay in for the long haul. Also, you should be happy in your home. You'll feel more motivated to make it a healthy space if you love it.

What else would you add to this list?

image via Allen Ferguson;Flickr.com

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