Editor's note: The following article is excerpted with permission of houzz.com. See the full article: Take Ownership of Your Rental's Green Factor.
From solar panels and reclaimed wood floors to recycled tile and low-emissivity windows, homeowners have plenty of options these days when it comes to green design. But what about renters? If you rent your apartment (or if you own or manage a rental), some of the larger-scale changes may not be an option, but there are still adjustments you can make on your own (or with your landlord's permission) that will reduce your energy needs, save you money, and make for a healthier home and planet.
Check if your utility company offers a "green power" option. Some cities are now offering renewable energy. If it is available in your area, it would mean that part or all of your electricity could be purchased from wind farms and other renewable sources.
Check out these five great ways to begin.
Put in a programmable thermostat
Photo credit: Danielle Wallinger
If you have access to your thermostat, replacing the regular controls with a programmable version (like this one) can save you a bundle in energy costs. See the Energy Star website for more info and tips on how to program your thermostat. Ask your landlord first and see if you can get reimbursed for the upgrade.