Sustainable Apartment Living: Eco-Friendly Practices for Renters

Sustainable Apartment Living: Eco-Friendly Practices for Renters

Living sustainably is more than just a trend—it’s a responsible choice that benefits our planet and future generations. As a renter, you might think your impact is limited, but there are numerous ways to make your apartment living eco-friendly. Here are some practical tips to help you reduce energy consumption, practice waste reduction, and choose environmentally friendly products.

Reducing Energy Consumption

  1. Optimize Lighting:
    • Use LED Bulbs: Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. They consume less energy and last longer.
    • Natural Light: Maximize the use of natural light during the day by keeping blinds open. This reduces the need for artificial lighting.
  2. Efficient Heating and Cooling:
    • Thermostat Management: Use a programmable thermostat to regulate heating and cooling. Set it to lower temperatures when you’re not home and higher when you are.
    • Insulation: Use draft stoppers, thick curtains, and rugs to keep your apartment well-insulated.
  3. Energy-Efficient Appliances:
    • Unplug Devices: Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use to avoid phantom energy drain.
    • Energy Star Appliances: If possible, choose Energy Star-rated appliances which are designed to be more energy-efficient.

Practicing Waste Reduction

  1. Recycle and Compost:
    • Recycling Bins: Separate recyclables such as paper, plastic, glass, and metal. Make sure to clean and dry them before disposal. For more information, check out Minnesota’s recycling guidelines.
    • Composting: If your apartment complex allows, set up a small compost bin for food scraps and organic waste. Learn how to start composting with Hennepin County’s guide.
  2. Reduce Single-Use Items:
    • Reusable Bags and Containers: Use reusable shopping bags, containers, and water bottles to minimize plastic waste.
    • Avoid Disposables: Choose cloth napkins, metal cutlery, and washable dishware over disposable options.
  3. Smart Shopping:
    • Bulk Buying: Purchase items in bulk to reduce packaging waste.
    • Eco-Friendly Products: Opt for products with minimal packaging or made from recycled materials.

Choosing Environmentally Friendly Products

  1. Cleaning Supplies:
    • Natural Cleaners: Use eco-friendly cleaning products made from natural ingredients. They are less harmful to the environment and your health. Check out local options from Minnesota-based stores.
    • DIY Cleaners: Make your own cleaners using household items like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.
  2. Furniture and Decor:
    • Sustainable Materials: Choose furniture made from sustainable materials such as bamboo, reclaimed wood, or recycled metal.
    • Second-Hand Finds: Visit thrift stores or online marketplaces for second-hand furniture and decor items. Try Arc’s Value Village for local options.
  3. Personal Care Products:
    • Biodegradable Options: Use biodegradable soaps, shampoos, and other personal care products to reduce chemical runoff. Find products at Wedge Community Co-op.
    • Refill Stations: Look for stores that offer refill stations for soaps, shampoos, and cleaning products to cut down on plastic waste. Check out Tare Market for refill options.

Bonus Tips

  1. Water Conservation:
    • Low-Flow Fixtures: Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to reduce water usage.
    • Mindful Water Use: Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and take shorter showers.
  2. Community Involvement:
    • Green Initiatives: Participate in or initiate green initiatives within your apartment community, such as communal gardens or recycling programs. Look into Metro Blooms for local green initiatives.
    • Education: Share your knowledge and practices with neighbors to foster a collective effort towards sustainability.

By incorporating these eco-friendly practices into your daily routine, you can make a significant difference in your environmental footprint. Sustainable apartment living is all about making conscious choices that promote a healthier planet. Every small step counts, so start today and inspire others to join you on this green journey!

Unveiling the Hidden Costs of Renting: A Guide Before Signing the Lease

Renting an apartment or house can be an exciting venture, offering newfound independence and flexibility. However, amidst the thrill of finding the perfect space, it’s crucial to peel back the layers and uncover the hidden costs that may lurk beneath the surface. Beyond the monthly rent, there are various expenses that renters often overlook, leading to budgetary surprises down the line. In this guide, we’ll delve into these often underestimated expenses, equipping you with the knowledge to make informed decisions before signing the lease.

Utilities: While the allure of a fixed monthly rent is appealing, many renters fail to consider the additional costs of utilities such as electricity, water, gas, and internet. These expenses can vary significantly depending on factors like location, climate, and usage habits. Before committing to a rental property, inquire about average utility costs in the area and factor them into your budget to avoid unexpected spikes in expenses. Here is a great resource to finding local utilities:

Maintenance Fees: Beyond the initial charm of a well-maintained property lies the reality of ongoing maintenance costs. Landlords are typically responsible for major repairs, but tenants often bear the brunt of minor maintenance expenses. From replacing light bulbs to unclogging drains, these seemingly insignificant costs can add up over time. Before signing the lease, clarify the maintenance responsibilities outlined in the rental agreement and budget accordingly for routine upkeep. Our maintenance technicians are available 24/7 to handle most maintenance emergencies CALL 612-448-9848 or login in to your appfolio account and request maintenance.

Security Deposits: While security deposits are a standard practice in renting, many tenants underestimate their significance. Security deposits serve as a safeguard for landlords against damages or unpaid rent, but they can also tie up a significant portion of your finances upfront. It’s essential to understand the terms governing the security deposit, including the conditions for its return at the end of the lease. Additionally, be prepared for potential deductions for damages beyond normal wear and tear. We do offer security deposit FREE options with most of our properties after signing up for our deposit programs. Check out our list of available properties HERE to see what properties qualify.

Parking and Storage Fees: For renters with vehicles or additional belongings requiring storage space, parking and storage fees are often overlooked expenses. Whether it’s a designated parking spot, garage, or storage unit, these amenities may come at an additional cost. Before committing to a rental property, inquire about parking options and associated fees to avoid surprises after moving in.

Renter’s Insurance: While not always mandatory, renter’s insurance is a crucial investment for protecting your belongings and liability as a tenant. Renter’s insurance policies vary in coverage and cost, but they typically offer protection against theft, damage, and liability claims. Factor the cost of renter’s insurance into your budget to safeguard your belongings and provide peace of mind throughout your tenancy. Lucky for our renters we can provide built in renters insurance through our FolioGuard Smart Ensure program. Learn more at Resident Information Sheet.

Pet-Related Expenses: For pet owners, renting often comes with additional costs beyond the standard monthly rent. Landlords may impose monthly pet rent per pet, which can vary depending on factors such as pet size and breed. Additionally, non-refundable pet deposits or fees are commonly charged to cover potential damages or cleaning expenses associated with pets. It’s essential to clarify the pet policy with your landlord before signing the lease and budget for these additional expenses accordingly. Remember to factor in grooming, veterinary care, and other ongoing pet-related costs when assessing the financial implications of renting with pets. Check out our pet friendly properties at

In conclusion, renting a property involves more than just paying monthly rent. By understanding and budgeting for the hidden costs associated with renting, you can avoid financial surprises and make informed decisions before signing the lease. Take the time to thoroughly review the rental agreement, ask questions, and consider all potential expenses to ensure a smooth and financially sound renting experience. 

Resources for Struggling Apartment Tenants: A Guide to Financial Support and Side Hustle Ideas

Living in an apartment can be both convenient and challenging, especially when financial difficulties arise. If you’re struggling to make ends meet as a tenant, you’re not alone. There are resources available to help you navigate these tough times. In this blog post, we’ll explore various organizations that offer assistance with rent, as well as ideas for generating extra income through side hustles.

  1. Rent Assistance Programs:
    • HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development): HUD offers rental assistance programs for low-income individuals and families. Visit their website or contact your local HUD office to inquire about eligibility and application procedures.
    • Salvation Army: This organization provides emergency rental assistance to those in need. Contact your local Salvation Army office to learn more about available programs.
    • 211: Dialing 211 can connect you with local resources for rent assistance, utility bill help, food assistance, and more.
  2. Local Agencies:
    • Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA):
      • MHFA offers various programs to assist renters and homeowners in Minnesota, including rental assistance, foreclosure prevention, and affordable housing options. Visit their website or contact them directly for more information on eligibility and available programs. Click to learn more about MHFA
  3. Minnesota Energy Assistance Program (EAP):
    • EAP assists eligible low-income households in Minnesota with their heating and energy bills during the winter months. Qualified participants may receive financial assistance to help pay for heating costs. Apply for EAP through your local community action agency or visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce website for more information. Click to learn more.
  4. Side Hustle Ideas:
    • Freelancing: Offer your skills on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. Whether it’s writing, graphic design, web development, or virtual assistance, there’s a demand for various freelance services.
    • Delivery Driver: Sign up to be a driver for services like UberEats, DoorDash, or Instacart. You can set your own schedule and earn extra income by delivering food or groceries.
    • Online Tutoring: If you excel in a particular subject or skill, consider offering tutoring services online through platforms like or Chegg Tutors.
    • Dog Walking/Pet Sitting: Love animals? Offer your services as a dog walker or pet sitter through apps like Rover or Wag.
    • Renting out Space: If you have extra space in your apartment, consider renting it out on platforms like Airbnb for short-term stays or storage.
  5. Government Assistance Programs:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP provides eligible individuals and families with funds to purchase food. Visit the official SNAP website or contact your local social services office to apply. Click to to see eligibility and apply in MN
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): TANF offers financial assistance to low-income families with dependent children. Contact your local social services office to inquire about eligibility and application procedures.

Conclusion: Struggling to make ends meet as an apartment tenant can be overwhelming, but remember that there are resources and support available to help you through difficult times. Whether you need assistance with rent, utility bills, or groceries, reach out to organizations in your community for help. Additionally, exploring side hustle opportunities can provide you with extra income to alleviate financial strain. Stay proactive and don’t hesitate to seek assistance when needed. If you are struggling as one of our tenants don’t wait, reach out to us right away for help!

Finding Your Fur-Friendly Haven: Navigating Pet-Friendly Rentals

Apartment Resource Group pet Friendly Apartments

For many pet owners, finding a suitable rental that welcomes their furry companions can be akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. However, with the right approach and knowledge, securing a pet-friendly apartment can transform the rental experience into a harmonious cohabitation for both humans and pets alike. In this guide, we’ll explore essential tips and strategies to navigate the rental market successfully while ensuring a comfortable living environment for your beloved pets.

Tips for Finding Pet-Friendly Apartments:

  • Start Early: Begin your search for a pet-friendly rental well in advance of your intended move-in date. This allows ample time to research available options, schedule viewings, and negotiate terms with landlords.
  • Utilize Online Resources: Explore online platforms specializing in pet-friendly rentals, where you can filter search results based on specific pet policies and preferences.
  • Expand Your Search: Don’t limit yourself to traditional apartment listings. Explore alternative housing options such as townhouses, duplexes, or privately-owned condos, which may offer more flexibility regarding pet policies.
  • Network with Pet Owners: Reach out to fellow pet owners within your social circle or online communities for recommendations on pet-friendly rentals in your desired area.
  • Prepare a Pet Resume: Create a pet resume detailing your furry friend’s breed, size, temperament, and any relevant training or certifications. This document can showcase your pet’s responsible ownership and help reassure landlords of their suitability as tenants.
  • Visit Apartment Resource Group’s properties page as most of our properties are pet-friendly!

Understanding Pet Policies: Once you’ve identified potential pet-friendly apartments, it’s essential to thoroughly review and understand the pet policies outlined by landlords or property management companies. Key considerations may include:

  • Pet Deposits or Fees: Be aware of any additional financial obligations associated with having a pet, such as pet deposits, monthly pet rent, or non-refundable pet fees.
  • Lease Terms: Carefully review lease agreements to ensure compliance with pet-related clauses, including rules regarding pet ownership, behavior expectations, and liability responsibilities.
  • Amenities and Restrictions: Clarify access to pet amenities within the building or community, such as designated pet areas, grooming stations, or nearby parks. Additionally, inquire about any specific restrictions or prohibitions on pet activities or breeds.

Creating a Pet-Friendly Living Environment: Once you’ve successfully secured a pet-friendly rental, it’s time to focus on creating a comfortable and nurturing environment for your furry companion:

  • Establish Routine: Maintain a consistent daily routine for feeding, exercise, and bathroom breaks to promote your pet’s well-being and prevent disruptive behavior.
  • Pet-Proof Your Home: Safeguard your rental against potential pet-related damage by securing hazardous items, investing in durable pet-friendly furnishings, and implementing preventive measures such as pet gates or scratching posts.
  • Respect Neighbors: Be mindful of your pet’s impact on neighboring residents by minimizing noise disturbances, practicing proper waste disposal, and respecting shared spaces within the building or community.

Navigating the rental market as a pet owner can present unique challenges, but with proactive planning and informed decision-making, finding a pet-friendly apartment can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Especially when all you have to do is head over to our properties page for a full list of pet-friendly apartments!

Elevating Tenant Satisfaction: Crafting a Tenant-Friendly Rental Haven

As a landlord, the key to success in the rental property market lies in cultivating a tenant-friendly environment that fosters contentment and cultivates lasting relationships. Beyond mere accommodations, today’s tenants seek a living experience that resonates with their needs and aspirations. In this article, we’ll delve into actionable suggestions that landlords can employ to create a tenant-friendly rental property, resulting in tenant satisfaction and a thriving property investment.

1. Modern Amenities: Elevate the allure of your property by furnishing it with modern amenities that streamline and enrich daily living. High-speed internet connectivity, in-unit laundry facilities, energy-efficient appliances, and well-appointed common areas contribute to a higher quality of life and underscore your commitment to tenant comfort.

2. Flexible Leasing Solutions: Acknowledge the diverse range of tenant needs by offering flexible leasing options. In addition to traditional year-long leases, consider shorter-term options like 6 to 9 months. This flexibility accommodates those seeking temporary housing arrangements, students, and professionals on short-term contracts.

3. Effective Communication Channels: Establishing efficient communication channels is paramount. Provide tenants with clear contact information for inquiries, concerns, and maintenance requests. A timely and attentive response not only resolves issues promptly but also conveys your dedication to tenant welfare.

4. Punctual Maintenance and Repairs: Prioritize the upkeep of your property to instill confidence and satisfaction in your tenants. Regular inspections and swift resolution of maintenance matters underscore your commitment to providing a comfortable and habitable living space.

5. Cultivating a Sense of Community:

a. Social Enclaves: Craft communal spaces within the property, such as cozy lounges or outdoor patios, where tenants can interact, unwind, and connect with their neighbors.

b. Tenant-Centric Events: Arrange periodic events that bring tenants together for a shared experience. These could range from themed movie nights to seasonal celebrations, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie.

c. Virtual Community Hubs: In this digital age, establish an online platform where tenants can exchange information, resources, and even ideas. This virtual space encourages engagement, information-sharing, and community-building.

6. Personalization and Flexibility:

a. Customization Nooks: While maintaining property standards, permit tenants to infuse their living spaces with their personal touch. This cultivates a sense of ownership and comfort.

b. Pet-Friendly Policies: If viable, embrace pet-friendly policies to welcome tenants with furry companions. Such inclusivity can significantly widen your tenant base. (We loves pet friendly properties. Visit our “Properties” page to view our pet friendly properties.)

7. Transparent Rent Practices: Building trust through transparent rent policies is essential. Clearly outline rent structures, fees, and policies to mitigate surprises and foster a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.

In conclusion, curating a tenant-friendly rental property extends beyond providing lodgings; it is an investment in tenant happiness and property longevity. By incorporating contemporary amenities, adaptable leasing alternatives, efficient communication, a community-centric approach, personalization options, and transparent business practices, landlords can create a harmonious and enriching living experience that not only nurtures tenant satisfaction but also propels the property’s reputation to new heights.