A Renters Guide to Sustainable Living

Big Actions Have Big Impact * Little Actions Add Up


  • Renters can live sustainably, too!
  • With lots of little changes, you can lower your consumption of resources and save money
  • Make a few big impact changes or add up lots of little ones
  • Start where you are, right now, then take your next step
  • Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments!


  • What keeps me from being more sustainable and how can I get past it?
  • Why be wasteful when I could be mindful?
  • Who and what really matters to me?
  • What could be more important than a safe and secure future?


  • Saving energy can shave hundreds off your yearly PG&E bill
  • Cooking at home is about 5x cheaper than eating out; household and friend potlucks generate joy and new recipe ideas!
  • Riding your bike and taking the bus mean better health and even more savings
  • Create an online account to watch your usage, get energy saving ideas, and enroll in utility bill discount programs for income eligible customers (including students)
  • Scroll down for Ways to Save to save some cash plus get up-to-date information on local assistance programs, grants, rebates, and tax credits

  • Set your thermostat for 68 degrees or lower in the winter and 72 degrees or higher in the summer
  • Be sure to turn off the heating or cooling when you’re away!
  • Wear a sweater or cuddle up with a friend on winter evenings
  • Open windows at night in the summer to cool naturally, and during warm winter days to ventilate
  • Watch cool and inspiring environmental documentaries!

  • Prepare plant-based meals and reduce beef, pork, and dairy
  • Dry clothes on racks or lines outdoors
  • Support restaurants with vegetarian options
  • Shop at Farmer’s Market(s)

  • Practice active listening, be clear about your needs, and show compassion
  • Remind housemates to turn off heating and cooling when leaving for a trip
  • Make it a friendly competition; winner skips the energy bill this month
  • Share a weekly dinner; rotate cooking and cleaning

  • Get a bike and ride it! Get a lock, helmet, and lights for safety and security
  • Take the bus when health permits; download the Unitrans app
  • Carpool with friends on the weekend
  • Take the train to Sacramento and the Bay Area
    Reduce air travel and emissions by limiting trips, flying non-stop, taking staycations


  • Make the most of your existing cell phone; don’t upgrade!
  • Find a friend to take your things when you move out Learn to do simple repairs
  • Browse Craigslist, Freecycle, and Buy Nothing Davis (Facebook)


  • Report leaks or broken appliances when they happen to avoid charges when you move out
  • Ask for LEDs and weatherstripping for doors and windows
  • Be persistent about your requests and say why it’s important to you



Discover how to apply for discounts and assistance on your energy bill and (income eligible) free solar, plus ways to save on electric vehicles, wood stove replacements, rooftop solar, solar hot water, and all-electric energy efficient systems.

What's Sustainability?

Living sustainably means meeting current needs without compromising the needs of future generations. Sustainable living is simply better for people, the planet, and the economy.

Why Live Sustainably?

Simply put, we consume too much. Our emissions are growing, and our planet is warming. We have triggered mounting and severe climate impacts, like floods, droughts, and wildfires. Time is running out to avoid the worst of it especially for those who are already vulnerable.

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