It’s not easy being green, and it’s even harder if you don’t live in a city that supports eco-friendly initiatives. If you’re moving apartments and find yourself on the hunt for a city that is both a great place to live and kind to the environment, you’re probably struggling with a lot of options. And because no two green cities offer the same perks, it can be tough to sort through what each city offers.
The Green City Checklist
Looking for apartments in an environment-friendly city? Keep these criteria in mind while you choose your new home. See if the city has:
□ A Recycling Program – Some cities have a mandatory recycling program, while others simply encourage its inhabitants to recycle. Find out what kinds of services, like free bins and recycling pick-up, the city has to offer apartment-dwellers.
□ Walkability and a High Walk Score – If cutting down on the use of your car is important to you, it’s helpful to know just how easily you can get around a city on foot. If you’re looking at a specific apartment in a specific city, just find it on ApartmentSearch.com and click the “Neighborhood Info” tab to view the apartment’s Walk Score. To learn more, you can also check out our list of the most walkable cities in the U.S.
□ Bicycle-Friendly Accommodations – A city with plenty of dedicated bike lanes is a cyclist’s best friend. Cities that encourage biking with bike lanes, bike racks, and even bike rental services all contribute to greener city life.
□ A Public Transportation Network – A good public transit system should be efficient and relatively inexpensive. Check out your options in each city, and make sure you know what other renters are saying about the quality of the city’s public transit, and whether the system services the apartments that you are considering.
□ Plenty of Green Space – Green space in a city can include public parks, gardens, playgrounds, plazas, and trails. Urban green spaces can help reduce a city’s carbon footprint, provide a habitat for a variety of flora and fauna, improve air quality, reduce noise pollution, and more.
□ Renewable Energy Resources – These resources might include solar power and wind power, and ideally should be incorporated as resources for the city’s main power plant.
□ LEED-Certified Buildings – Buildings and apartments that are LEED-certified have met a number of Earth-friendly criteria that take into account the energy and water use the building requires, the building’s compliance with environmental laws and regulations, occupancy scenarios, and building permanence.
□ Other City-Wide Earth-Friendly Initiatives – Plenty of cities have programs in place that involve conservation efforts, sustainability initiatives, renewability goals, and community opportunities to become more Earth-friendly. Check out each city’s website; if there’s a special program going on, the city is likely to brag about it up front.
Your Tips for Finding Apartments in a Green City