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The Green Life: Green your Apartment: Look Into the Future

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November 03, 2011

Green your Apartment: Look Into the Future

Charming colonial cottageIf you rent your little space in the world, many of the commonest green-living tips don’t apply: You can’t keep a garden (much less a compost pile), weatherize your home, or install solar panels. Even remodeling and keeping pets could be off limits. So, when you don’t own the deed, what can you do to go green? This week’s tips tell you what.

Tip #4: Think ahead.

For now, take comfort that living in that vertical building is more efficient than spreading out over a horizontal quarter-acre. But when you finally (or if you ever) do decide it’s time to conform to the American dream and go house shopping, make sure that, just as you do with furniture or cars, you buy used. Tract developments often lay waste to fragile ecosystems in the name of suburban sprawl. Besides, building a house creates an insane amount of waste. So don’t encourage developers by buying their brand-new McMansions. Instead, shop for charming older cottages; it’s far greener to plan for a responsible remodel of a pre-owned abode than to have a house built from scratch just for you. (If you must buy new, choose an ubergreen home like Meritage’s net-zero offerings.)

Tell us: What type of home do you plan to buy one day?

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