Sunmoor Properties, Inc, San Francisco
In commercial and residential buildings nationwide, an enormous amount of energy and water are wasted due to mismanagement and lack of education. Infrastructure is often antiquated and inefficient, allowing for greater abuse. Of further concern are toxic materials used in construction, maintenance, cleaning, and produced by general household waste. By implementing sustainable solutions and guidelines, we achieve operational savings, legal compliance, increased tenant and employee safety, and higher market values as a greener property's desirability increases.
Summary – Top Seven Sustainability Habits for Tenants

  • Shorter showers, fewer flushes
  • Full loads of laundry or dishes
  • Lights out, unplug electronics when gone
  • Heat less, dress warmly
  • Use low energy lighting (CFL, LED)
  • Shop less packaging and reuse bags
  • Compost and recycle

Sustainability Guide for Tenants

Higher utility bills may drive some people to curb their usage, but education helps everyone become more responsible about their choices. Now is a time to better understand efficiency and conservation and protect our resources. The most significant change Americans can make is to adopt new habits for sustainable living at home.

In the 19th century, after scientists discovered how diseases were linked to microbes, entire nations adopted new hygiene standards. Infant mortality was greatly reduced, the average longevity was increased, and populations began to grow exponentially. In the 20th century, technological advances revolutionized every aspect of society and we took control of every part of the planet’s surface. In the 21st century, we face an existential threat: can we survive our own progress? Can we establish a sustainable balance between growth and a world of limited resources?

Few people deliberately want to harm our environment, much less ruin their lives. Most don’t realize how they’re doing it. Once they are motivated or under pressure, however, people do adapt and change habits. One would expect that a culture of citizens achieving so much in the name of freedom could be motivated to act while there is still a choice.

Start at home? Home is where the most basic habits of everyday life are played out and where we make a great impact through our choices. At home, we use and often abuse all kinds of precious resources conveniently brought to us, and produce waste with little concern for its disposal. It is easy to forget how things got so comfortable, and hard to imagine this gone. Some tenants even lose their common sense about the simplest things, like turning down the heater instead of opening a window when they are hot. Far more wasteful, however, are the small but frequent habits shared by many: flushing the toilet to dispose of a q-tip, leaving the TV on while away, throwing glass and aluminum in the trash, or running the dryer with only a pair of socks inside. Individually, none of these things matter much, but cumulatively, as performed day after day by hundreds of millions of people, it all adds up quickly and makes us the most wasteful residents in the world (With only 5% of the world's population, the USA consume over 25% of the world's annual energy supply).

If you feel even remotely addressed, we invite you to follow our suggestions and become a greener tenant. We hope you’ll find pride and satisfaction in taking better care of your world through simple changes to your everyday routines at home. If you practice this already, we thank you and appreciate your efforts.     

Save and Protect Water
- Take fewer baths and shorter showers
- Request low-flow showerheads, aerators on sinks, dual-flush toilets.
- Request a more efficient Washer/Dryer system
- Run full loads of laundry or dishes instead of partially filled
- Flush toilet only when needed, don’t use as trash disposal; use low and high flush function.
- Turn faucet off while brushing teeth or shaving or scrubbing pots
- When washing dishes by hand, fill up the sink and dip to rinse
- Use a broom instead of a hose for cleaning the sidewalk
- Report leaks (faucet, toilet)  to your landlord as soon as detected
- Keep a container of water in the fridge instead of running the tap until it’s cold
- Report irrigation system problems to your landlord   

Air Quality
- Ventilate your home daily: create a draft by opening windows or doors at opposite ends of your dwelling
- Dust and vacuum at least 2x a month
- Dry-cleaned clothes often exude lightly toxic chemicals – take off the plastic sleeve and air your clothes out for a few hours, either outside or in a room that can be isolated and ventilated
- Open a window and ventilate when you do the following: unpack new electronic goods; cut into Styrofoam; use strong chemicals like hairspray, nail polish remover, windex;
- Use fan when frying or grilling food on a stove, as fine particles of grease spread around the space and cover every surface, creating a dirt magnet; if you burn food, ventilate immediately as it produces toxic fumes containing carbon-monoxide.

Reduce Electrical Use
- Shut down electrical usage when leaving unit: lights, space heaters, air fans, TV, music
- Avoid open heating with electricity (space heaters, electric blanket, hair dryer)
- Set the fridge and freezer to lower position
- Reconsider how much blowdrying your hair requires
- Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms
- Use timers and motion sensor switches for outlets and lights
- Question electric gadgets and consider alternatives
- Unplug unused devices when leaving your home for longer periods
- LCD instead of plasma or CRT TV monitor
- Go sparingly on halogen lights
- Replace incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL)
- Choose plastic instead of aluminum containers (much less energy to produce)
- Use a broom and shovel more often, instead of handling everything with a vacuum cleaner
- Use a broom for clearing leaves instead of an electric blower or hose
- Request an Energy-Star fridge and install energy-saving lighting devices in common areas 

Reduce Gas Use
- Heater: Dress warmly at home and drop thermostat down 2-3 degrees from usual setting
- Gas Dryers: Wash laundry in morning, hang dry on rack or line, inside or outside
- Hot Water: Shorter showers, full loads of laundry and dishes (gas heats hot water)
- Set water heater on vacation during longer periods of absence
- Use gas fireplace sparingly, heat with furnace system instead
- Eat more fresh, raw food and less frozen, processed food; use oven sparingly and cook less on the stove; use an electric kettle for water instead of stovetop model or microwave

Reduce Waste
- Shop less of everything. Consciously reconsider needs and wants as a function of freedom from stuff and elimination of clutter.
- Shop less packaging: choose products wrapped in thin plastic instead of clear plastic boxes; leave packaging with vendor when practical; avoid Styrofoam;  classic example: bar soap instead of liquid in a single use dispenser;
- Shop durable things that will still serve well in the distant future; Simple things that are easier to care for and can be repaired; smaller things that are made from local, low impact materials;
- Bring your own totes and bags to shop; stash some extras in your car; choose plastic if asked
- Reuse. Write on both sides of the paper;  Learn how to feed the printer with used paper; learn how to get things repaired instead of replaced; Freeze/Fridge/soup food leftovers; Organize things as reusable instead of trashable
- Regift. Give your discarded things a second life somewhere, use donation services
- Compost. Realize that most of your waste could be compostable instead of landfill. Keep your compost in milk cartons, paper bags or other biodegradable containers before throwing them into the building’s green bin. This keeps the bin cleaner and less smelly.
- Recycle. Compact things and group by material. No plastic bags in here (wrecks the recycling equipment)
- Minimize landfill. Break things down into separate recyclable components; Put only non-reusable, non-compostable, non recyclable, non-hazardous materials in the trash and compact as much as possible: your package will be shoved as is into a landfill that will eventually …fill up.
- Use a water filter instead of plastic bottled water
- Go easy on mineral water imported from other continents in glass bottles – think: heavy cargo ships spewing diesel smoke
- Use a broom for clearing leaves instead of a garden hose

Reduce Exposure to Toxic Chemicals
- Less synthetics in your surroundings: choose furnishings that consist largely or entirely of non-petroleum-based materials, such as wood, stone, metal, glass, natural fabrics.
- Ventilate; open windows and create a draft at least once a day
- Simplify your arsenal of household cleaning chemicals and shift to extra simple, readily available products like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and bar soap for most of your cleaning needs; get a few environmentally friendly products for more complex tasks.
- Air out your dry-cleaned clothes; Seek non-invasive dry cleaners
- Hire cleaners and other service providers with green practices
- Avoid microwaving food in plastic containers, use ceramic or glass instead

Manage Stress and Health
- Reduce clutter, purge your junk, stop collecting useless things, find ways of passing things on where they can be reused.
- Invest 5 minutes of your life to set up bill-pay or another form of automatic rent payment, pay a little ahead of due date, reduce your stress for months, years, and never lose money on late fees, build good reputation and references to facilitate renting or buying property in the future
- Use stairs instead of elevators
- Shop more frequently by foot at local stores instead of driving - consider not owning a car