If you are a renter in one of the condominium towers built in the City of Miami after 2010, chances are good that you are already living in a “green” building. According to Miami 21, the City of Miami planning code, “All new Buildings of more than 50,000 square feet of Habitable Rooms and Habitable Space in the T5, T6, CI and CS zones shall be at a minimum certified as Silver by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards or equivalent standards adopted or approved by the City.” But that isn’t the end of what can be done to “green your apartment.” Realtor.com’s Kimberly Dawn Neumann writes:
We can all take steps to protect our planet, but apartment dwellers often don’t go beyond recycling. Perhaps you feel you don’t have a long-term stake in your home or a homeowner’s budget for sustainability features.
But there are some easy tricks you can use to help save resources—including money! Check these out.
- Practice better climate control – Heating and cooling typically amounts to 50% or more of your energy bill. Even if utilities are included in your rent, do the right thing and moderate the thermostat whenever possible. Ask your landlord if you can change out a traditional thermostat with a programmable type that you can manage remotely.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – One of the quickest ways to be environmentally conscious is to follow the hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle
- Watch the waterworks – According to the United States Geological Survey Water Science School, 4,000 drips from a leaky faucet equals about 1 liter of wasted water.
- Get rid of the energy vampires – 25% of your home utility bill is usually related to lighting
- Create a green team – One of the best ways to put green practices into play is to make it a group effort, says Myria Allen, professor of communication at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and author of “Strategic Communications for Sustainable Organizations.”
For details about these easy steps, click here: “5 Simple Ways to Green Your Apartment”. Also be sure to ask your building’s management office what additional service they may offer. Most of the residential condominium and apartment buildings in the City of Miami offer recycling programs, including Christmas Tree recycling. Many will even replace leaking toilet valves/flappers or sink faucets.
And if your showerhead has not been replaced since 1996, Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department offers a FREE exchange program. Ask your landlord if you can take the old showerhead to exchange for a new WaterSense-certified showerhead that will use only 1.5 gallons per minute.
While not all of these suggestions will save you money personally, everyone benefits from a greener, more energy-efficient environment.
Melanie Dawn Molina Wood is a licensed Realtor and Sales Director with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, and is an accredited LEED Green Associate. She is also a proud member of the US Green Building Council – South Florida Chapter, a designated Eco-Broker, and a member of the Sierra Club. For more information about sustainability in Miami, or to connect with a real estate agent anywhere in the world, contact Melanie Dawn by text/phone at 305-801-3133, or by email at MelanieinMiami@gmail.com.