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Environmental Protection & Preservation

More Than Sixty-Three Percent of Renters Recycle

Renters are going green as a recent Apartments_com survey indicates more than sixty-three percent of survey respondents who live in an apartment community recycle regularly. In comparison, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that 32% of the entire U.S. population participates in recycling programs.

Of the renters who do recycle, fifty percent live in an apartment community that offers a recycling program for residents. Property managers and apartment owners support environmental issues in numerous ways as survey respondents indicate the following eco-friendly products and services are provided by management companies: recycling bins and receptacles (34%), energy efficient lighting (10%), water saving showers and fixtures (10%) and insulation in windows and doors (8%). Environmentally friendly communities are in high demand as twenty-six percent of renters state they would pay more in rent to live in a building that makes efforts to conserve and recycle. When asked to choose between identical apartments with the same monthly rent, one being eco-friendly and the other not, more than sixty-four percent of renters would choose the "green" apartment.

A significant number of survey respondents indicate that they personally make conservation efforts regardless of the presence of a formal recycling program within their rental community. Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents recycle plastic, fifty-seven percent indicate that they use energy efficient light bulbs, fifty-six percent recycle paper, aluminum and glass and forty-six percent use a timer to set their heating/air conditioning to run only while someone is home.

There are many easy ways for renters and property managers to help improve the quality of the environment. Mindi Picotte from Ideal Bite, a Web site, newsletter and blog that provides eco friendly tips and resources, offers these simple ways to live in a "greener" apartment:
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs.
  • When appliances are plugged in but not turned on, energy is still being used. Cut energy bills by up to forty percent by using a power strip.
  • Burn soy candles to avoid pollutants and smoke marks on walls.
  • Use an organic cotton shower curtain paired with a nylon liner to cut down on mold buildup and eliminate harmful gases found in PVC coated curtains.
  • Instead of reaching for bottled water, fill up a non-leaching, lined aluminum bottle with filtered tap water.
  • Purchase a potted plant in lieu of using an electric air purifier.
  • Eliminate junk mail and paper waste by removing names and addresses from junk mail lists.
Renters and property managers alike can find additional information on how and what to recycle as well as more tips on energy conservation in the "Housekeeping" section of Apartment Living on

As part of its monthly "What Renters Want" research series, surveys renters on various topics. For more information on these surveys or to receive a copy of additional survey results, please contact Lisa DeVries at

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