Rent it Furnished on Climate Action

Taking Climate Action in your Home

In April the world celebrated Earth Day, with folks around the globe acting and participating in events beneficial to the environment. Among those folks, countless more are asking how to take climate action where they live and in how they live. Rent it Furnished, along with thousands of other businesses believe that being environmentally conscious is a way of life and in operating a responsible business.

Over the years, we have watched how the housing industry has played a huge role in waste and over-consumption of resources, from re-developments, to the impact that moving has on interior furnishings. To help our conscious renters and landlords we have created this climate action guide. We hope to continuously add to it for the benefit of our tenants, landlords and of course, our planet.

Discover how you can take climate action.

Update Appliances and Fixtures

Let’s talk about appliances and fixtures. Low flow toilets and shower heads, EnergyStar cold water washing machines and refrigerators – these appliances and devices have shown reduction in how much we use. For landlords considering if these are a sound investment, think about the cost savings for your tenant as a marketable feature.  Aside from having new appliances, the extreme cost in running these is substantially less than those of the past. In fact, in British Columbia a household may spend up to $5,550 for energy bills per year. This amount can be reduced $2,500 per year through using energy efficient appliances by following various energy saving methods such as replacing bulbs with energy saving lights LEDs or CFDs, using ENERGY STAR-rated refrigerators, and solar water heaters.

Landlords take note, if you include any of the utilities in the rent, this is a great cost saving for you!  Additionally, BC Hydro offers $300 in rebates on select ENERGY STAR® appliances.  That’s just hydro.

Replace your shower-head- with older models using 18 to 30 lpm, newer water-efficient models use 9.5/7.6 lpm or less. Ultra-high efficiency shower-heads use as low as 5.6 lpm. These shower-heads provide a water reduction of 30% compared to the current industry standard of 9.5 lpm. Reducing your water in the shower will also save money on your water, sewage and energy bills. For more ways to outfit your home to be as efficient and conservative as possible visit the government of Canada’s EnergyStar page.

Climate Action is Conscious use of Water and Power

While we have heard this countless times and despite having EnergyStar appliances, water consideration goes a long way.  Shorter showers and recycling unused water are a couple ways to reduce water consumption. While waiting for hot water to flow when preparing for a shower, catch the cool water in a bucket or water can. Later it could be used for your plants, pets or cleaning. Do not let the water run while brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving. Instead, turn off the faucet when not directly using water flow.

Reduce your hydro consumption by unplugging devices and small appliances when not in use- yes, that means unplugging your laptop if it’s charged. Turn off lights during the day and consider black out blinds to help reduce hydro consumed by air conditioning or electric heating.

Change your light bulbs to LEDs or CFDs and when they burn out, look for proper recycling methods instead of tossing these in the trash.

Rent Furnished, Source Pre-Loved and Donate

The average renter moving into a new space will spend up to $4000 on new furnishings and home accessories.  Renting a furnished home includes everything from furniture, linens to kitchenware, tableware and cookware. Not only are the cost savings substantial but the reduction in consumption will all add up.

If you’re looking to make further impact and prefer to furnish your own space, opt for some pre-loved finds instead. Moving and don’t need that sofa? Donate it, list it on craigslist or give it away. “The other thing that Electronic and F-waste have in common is that the materials are really not waste at all and can often be repurposed for community/charitable organizations or resale. This idea feeds into the “circular economy”, which aims to reduce waste and pollution by creating products that can be reused, recycled or repaired.” Huffington Post.

Small Changes, Big Impact on Climate

  • Wash your clothes in cloth bags to avoid synthetic microfibres being washed into our water and contaminating food supplies.
  • Hang-dry wet clothes

  • Compost your food scraps – this can seem tricky when you don’t have a garden or yard to dispose of your kitchen scraps but we have a few solutions. Thankfully, The City of Vancouver has implemented practices for the collection of food scraps for multi-family dwellings. Simply collect your food scraps in an air tight container and dispose of them in the green bin located in your building. Be sure to review the list of acceptable food scraps here and why food composting is an important piece of climate action. Contact a local farm or friend who may have a yard and ask them if they would be interested in your food scraps for their soil or garden, set up a schedule that works for you both. If you are collecting food scraps in bags, be sure to use only 100% compostable food scrap bags.

  • Reduce your household waste by purchasing your produce without packaging and opting instead to use reusable cloth bags. There are countless alternatives offered across the country offering ZERO WASTE groceries and products, including NADA Grocery in Vancouver, Farmbound Zero Waste in Kelowna, Canary Goods in Calgary, AB and Unboxed Market in Toronto to name a few. Alternatively, local farmer’s markets offer a vast array of zero waste alternatives.

  • Walk, take transit, ride a bike, use a car share program or Uber.
  • Participate or start a clothing swaps and save money and the planet.
  • Shop local and keep economies sustainable.

The Takeaway

There are innumerable ways each of us can take positive steps to repairing our environment. From landlords to tenants. From businesses to governments. Let us know how what other tips we can share by getting in touch with us to showcase your unique contribution to the planet or connect with us to find a furnished rental home.