You might think that as a renter there is not much you can do about living green in your apartment. While much depends on the landlord, there is still a lot you can do yourself and a lot you can ask of your landlord.
One way to reduce your carbon footprint is to find an apartment within walking or biking distance from campus. The good news is that the most popular Penn graduate and professional student housing choices are within less than half an hour walking distance or a short bike ride away. When concerned about safety in the evenings and at night, you can use the Penn shuttle, which takes you from campus to your door, if you live in University City/West Philadelphia, including Powelton Village, or in Center City to 20th Street.
Find out what the landlord has done to make the apartment greener and insist that the landlord take measures to increase energy efficiency and water conservation. While you cannot expect the landlord to install solar panels, you should insist that certain steps be taken to save energy. You should do this not only as a green initiative but also as a cost-saving feature, whether the landlord pays for utilities or you do. Below are some simple, and not very costly, initiatives the landlord can take.
Install low-flow toilets and energy efficient shower heads. Maintain bathroom fixtures, including faucets, in good working order and promptly fix any leaking faucets and running toilets, when reported.
Recycling is the law in Philadelphia, and landlords are responsible for providing their tenants with information about City trash and recycling regulations. If you live in a building with six or fewer units, the City collects recycling at curbside every week on the same day that trash is picked up. Make sure the landlord provides clear instructions regarding storage and curbside placement of your recycling. In buildings of more than six apartments, landlords are responsible for providing recycling services to their tenants. If your landlord does not provide recycling services, remind him/her that this is the law.
For more information about recycling in Philadelphia, visit the City’s website at www.recyclingpays.phila.gov.
University Square Farmers' Market, at 36th and Walnut Streets. Open on Wednesdays, 10am to 2pm, through mid-November.
Clark Park Farmers’ Market, 43rd Street, between Chester Avenue and Baltimore Avenue. Open Saturdays, 10am to 2pm and Thursdays, 3pm to 7pm, May through mid-November and only Saturdays, November through April.
Rittenhouse Farmers' Market, Walnut Street west of 18th Street, on south sidewalk. Open Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm and Saturdays, 9:30am to 3pm, through mid-November.
Reading Terminal Market, an indoor market at 12th and Arch Streets in Center City, offers an outstanding array of farm produce from local markets, fish, meats and cheeses and wonderful restaurants. The market is a landmark in Philadelphia. Open Monday through Saturday, 8am to 6pm and Sunday, 9am to 5pm.
For a complete list of locations and days of operation, check www.farmtocity.org/FarmersMarkets.asp.
There are plenty of on-line resources with wonderful tips and wonderful initiatives one can take to live more sustainably. If you have tips or stories to share, please write to email@example.com and we will include your suggestions in our updates.