As the eco-friendly movement gains traction, many industries are adapting—and adopting green solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. This happens at an individual level, as well, when people choose the more environmentally conscious option despite the higher cost.
As renters became more aware of their behavior and the effects of it on the planet, they prompted a movement that changed the rental industry. Developers and investors now push toward green construction and green living; they also use more sustainable materials in their buildings and offer green amenities, such as recycling options and energy-efficient appliances.
New York City’s Push for Green Buildings
This push is recognized and enforced at an official level, too, especially in New York City. Here, a local law which will take effect in 2024 will drastically reduce energy use and carbon emissions. The law requires that most buildings that are at least six stories high and contain at least 50 units reduce their carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.
As such, beginning in 2024, many buildings should enter a renovation or restoration phase. This would allow enough time to make them energy-efficient, as well as educate occupants to be more environmentally friendly. Among the changes, the most significant would be to insulate the buildings, use renewable resources to convert to green energy, and upgrade to more efficient HVAC systems.
These changes—coupled with energy-efficient appliances and an improved commitment from renters—would also help reduce utility costs, especially natural gas, energy, and water. Especially for someone renting a New York City apartment, this could benefit not only the community and the environment, but also the individual in the long run.
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The Green Renter
As a new generation becomes the driving force of demand in the rental industry, we’re also starting to see more demand for wellness amenities. These cater to the desire for a balanced life as renters aim to care for their bodies and minds, while also caring for the environment and their pets. As a result, pet-friendly apartments are becoming more popular, in addition to other pet-oriented amenities that are included in the community or nearby.
Among the most searched-for amenities in green buildings, people are looking to rent in communities with private parking or bicycle facilities that also have modern fitness centers and yoga studios. A business center—or any type of coworking space for the ever-growing pool of green renters who work from home—is also becoming more important.
As for the apartments, many renters are asking for energy-efficient appliances, high-speed internet, and air conditioning/heat control technology. We’re also seeing the rise of the smart apartment as many developers implement the Internet of Things into their buildings; these smart innovations are important to renters, who are looking for a convenient lifestyle while on the move.
Especially now, as climate change increasingly becomes an issue that affects us all, going green is perceived as a responsibility and a duty. Although such a transformation can consume resources—mostly in terms of time and money—the results are worth it in the long run. Furthermore, choosing green construction over traditional buildings is an important step, as these older buildings contribute 40% of the national CO2 emissions in the U.S.
As people choose to consume green, fair-trade products; reduce their plastic consumption; and modify their behavior to be less wasteful, change seems to come from many directions. Step by step, the individual and group choices that determine our future begin to paint a more optimistic picture for the years to come.
About the author: Mihaela Buzec is a passionate reader and writer, with an affinity for language and linguistics, as well as the latest technological developments. She discovered her passion for real estate at RENTCafé, and you can read more of her articles on their blog.
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