Living Green

There are many ways to implement green initiatives within your apartment. It’s important to consult your landlord before making any changes to your apartment that could impact the physical structure of your apartment.

Below are a few simple and cost-effective initiatives you can take to create a green living experience:

Energy Efficiency

  • If your heater/air-conditioner has filters, check that they are not clogged. Most landlords can give you instructions on how to clean or replace a filter; and may do that for you. Depending on the system, most filters should be cleaned or changed at a minimum of three times per year.
  • Check windows for air leakage and insulation.
  • Make sure the basement and the attic (if you live in a house) are insulated.
  • Use your appliances efficiently
  • If the landlord is responsible for providing light bulbs to the unit, suggest that the landlord use compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. They may cost more to purchase, but use only one-fourth the energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

Water Conservation

  • Report any running water or leaking faucets to your landlord
  • Turn water off when you brush your teeth or when you shave.
  • Do full loads of laundry and dishes.
  • Take a shorter shower: an average 5-minute shower takes about 20 gallons of water, so about 40 gallons are used in 10 minutes..


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. 

Buying Local Produce

While living off-campus, you can support local growers by buying farm- fresh produce at local markets.
For a complete list of farmers’ markets, as well as locations and days of operation, in Philadelphia, visit Farm to City

Penn Green Campus Partnership
City of Philadelphia Sustainability Initiatives