Does the Rental Lifestyle Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?

Maybe you’ve just finished calculating your carbon footprint and are looking for ways to lower it. One place to start? With your daily living and purchasing habits. When it comes to housing and goods, many are choosing to rent instead of buy — and for good reason.  From apartments to goods, there are many benefits to choosing to rent instead of buy, including reducing one’s carbon footprint. 

Read on to find out why the rental lifestyle is more sustainable and to find new ways to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Yes — Apartment Living Lowers Your Carbon Footprint 

Wondering about the carbon footprint of a house vs. apartment? Apartment living has many benefits from convenience to lower maintenance. But, did you know that apartment living also creates less greenhouse gasses?  Here are a few reasons why apartment life is better for the planet. 

Shared Walls Keep Your Carbon Footprint Low 

Compared to traditional single-family homes, apartments with five or more units are far more energy efficient — and therefore environmentally friendly. The shared walls of apartments help keep your unit well insulated, and in turn less energy is needed to heat and cool each unit. Using less energy not only reduces stress on the environment but can result in extra cash as well. 

Smaller Spaces Use Less Energy

One of the most simple steps to a greener home? Reducing your energy usage. In addition to being better insulated, apartments generally have a smaller footprint compared to a traditional single-family home. The larger your space is, the more energy will be needed to heat, cool, and power your home. 

Public Transportation Slashes Your Carbon Footprint 

Apartment living isn’t just convenient — living closer to where you work, shop, and play leads to a significant reduction in carbon footprint. As apartments are often located in more urban or walkable areas ie: you’re less likely to be taking long, fuel-consuming daily commutes. Apartments are often also more likely to be near public transportation options — simply choosing to ride the bus, subway, or rideshare can help slash your CO2 emissions.

Renting Goods Can Reduce Waste — And CO2 Emissions

When you think of renting, your mind may drift to apartments or the long-gone days of brick-and-mortar video stores. But, there are plenty of other goods you can rent. Not only can you get a better product through renting (and therefore experience) but you’ll likely save cash and storage space. Choosing to rent things you won’t use all the time can be a win-win situation for both you and the environment. 

Factory production and shipping are both significant contributors to carbon emissions. However, ownership isn’t always the wrong way to go. If you feel like you’ll use an item multiple times — let’s say, for example, wearing a pair of jeans 200 times over its life cycle — then buying may be your best bet.

However, for things you know you’ll only use on occasion or for short periods of time, choosing to rent can help extend that object’s life cycle. 

Go Green By Renting Clothing for Special Occasions

We understand the pressure of feeling like you have to show up to every event in a new look — especially if you’ve already posted a photo to the ‘Gram. Quickly-moving trends and an emphasis on consumerism don’t just wreck your wallet and stuff your closet to the brim. Frankly, fast fashion is wreaking havoc on the planet. Most affordable and trendy clothing is made with plastic derivatives and polluting chemicals — not to mention the amount of energy that’s needed to ship your frequent orders to your home.

Most clothing items purchased are worn as little as 7 times before ending up in a landfill, particularly when it comes to formal business wear and special occasion outfits.  

While buying second-hand clothing and wearing the clothes you already own is your most carbon-neutral option, renting clothing for special occasions can help you reduce waste and your carbon footprint. Popular clothing rental service Rent the Runway estimates that per garment rental there’s a 24% reduction in water usage, 6% reduction in energy use, and 3% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to buying new.

So rejoice eco-conscious fashionistas: this is one of the few times you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it, too! Thanks to the abundance of clothing and accessory rental options available today, you’ll never have to choose between being an outfit-repeater and the planet. 

Special Event Decor: From Wedding Decorations to Live Christmas Trees

Alongside special occasion clothing, there are many other things you likely don’t use very often. As anyone who’s ever planned a wedding or large event knows, there are seemingly endless details that need to be considered. From table settings to decor items, the cost (and potential landfill waste) adds up quickly. Opting to rent your decorations, flatware, and more can help ensure that you’re receiving quality items that will be used time and time again — and can keep potentially hundreds of chargers, plates, and centerpieces from heading straight to the dump.  CORT Events provides furniture and decor rental for large events — from stylish wedding furniture and decor to the finishing touches for your annual corporate events. Throwing a smaller bash in the Pacific Northwest? Turn to CORT Party Rental for all of your gathering needs. 

Similarly, many of our holiday decorations are used once per year. While many use the same ornaments and decorations year after year, opting for a real Christmas tree can slash your carbon footprint. Real trees generate 39% less carbon dioxide compared to artificial trees and help produce more oxygen — keeping our air clean and our carbon footprint low. But, there’s also an alternative to cutting down your real Christmas tree: you can rent a live, potted Christmas tree! Many nurseries and arboretums offer this service which allows your Christmas tree to not only be rentable but a much, much better alternative to an artificial tree. 

Short-Term Furniture and Decor 

Do you find yourself moving frequently for work? Or maybe you’re just not ready to invest in your forever furniture quite yet. Either way, repeatedly buying brand new furniture and housewares from big-box stores can quickly up your carbon footprint. Ever-evolving home trends coupled with low-quality furniture items have led to a sharp uptick in furniture waste. Low-quality furniture that’s not built to last breaks easily, and this year’s fast furniture ends up in next year’s landfill. Regardless of quality, however, producing and shipping furniture can strain the environment. The more often you’re needing to replace your couch or desk, the more CO2 is emitted in the production and shipping process. Plus, buying cheap furniture doesn’t necessarily mean you’re saving money since you’re replacing it more often. 

Luckily, there are ways to get furniture and housewares for the short term without having to move your goods cross-country or contributing to the increasing problem of fast furniture. With CORT Furniture Rental, you can have quality furniture and housewares that are built to last —  for as long as you need them. Our high-quality furniture,  decor, and housewares are designed to last through several rental periods. With CORT, you’ll feel confident that you’re furnishing your home for the short-term sustainably. Our business model is sustainable by nature: after the rental cycle is complete, all CORT Furniture Rental items are then moved over to CORT Furniture Outlet where they’re sold to their forever homes. 

Anything Else You’re Going to Use for The Short Term

Choosing to rent things you won’t use all the time or don’t plan on keeping for the long haul is a win-win situation for both you and the environment. No matter if you’re planning on heading out on a ski trip or tackling a weekend DIY project that requires a special tool, renting these items can help ensure that they’re used by many — and until failure.

Consider renting items you’ll only use for brief periods of time, such as:

  • Sports equipment
  • Tools
  • Trailers 
  • Textbooks

This isn’t just a great way to go green but will save you money and storage space.


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Cut Your Carbon Footprint with CORT Furniture Rental 

Searching for more sustainable options when it comes to furniture? Turn to CORT for an environment-friendly choice. Renting furniture from CORT saves 368,862 of CO2 annually vs. competitors who sell furniture new. By adhering to a sustainable business model, CORT positively impacts the communities we serve while reducing our impact on the environment. When you rent or buy from CORT, you’re making the world a little greener.

CORT Furniture Rental offers stylish furniture that can be used and reused by renters. Browse online or in-store at your local CORT Furniture Rental showroom to find stylish home furnishings you can feel good about. 


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