Smart Living November Talk - Smart Renting

smart renting

Making sustainable and energy efficient choices to your home can be a challenge when you’re a renter, but this is exactly what Steve and Rabea set out to do when they started Smart Renting in 2011.

This month we chat to Steve from Smart Renting about how renters can make small changes to their homes and lifestyles as a means of reducing their carbon footprint. This talk follows on from September’s Sustainable House Day, which is geared more towards home ownership, renovating and building. We’re excited to open the door to many of Ballarat’s renters on what they can achieve without having to own their home.

Purchasing a house in today’s market is expensive and not a realistic option for many people. Others may prefer to rent or not have the intent on living in a particular place long term. What Steve and Rabea have shown is that these circumstances don’t mean you can’t live a sustainable lifestyle.

“After we significantly reduced our home energy use, we went further by going car free, incorporating local produce into our diets and more recently have added home grown produce and composting to the mix.

We wanted to make changes that were cheap and easy to implement and could work in almost any rental property. We also tested these ideas in Germany for four years.

A funny thing happened along the way:

• We tripled our yearly savings rate (which was already pretty healthy) making home ownership a reasonable prospect should we choose it
• We learned to enjoy living in rental properties and to make them work for us
• We were able to go from five days a week of working to four
• We got healthier and more active
• We have more time and energy for others and ourselves
• We enjoy more reliable household services and transportation
• Travel (a favourite pastime of ours) has become a deeper and more rewarding experience
• We never felt that we were going without or making sacrifices, if anything, we feel richer than ever (and not just in the monetary sense)”

“Living a life that involves working together with our fellow human beings and environment is usually framed as a sacrifice.
Thinking this way is doomed to fail; if something is seen as a sacrifice, then it takes willpower to keep it up and one day willpower is going to run out.
We have no more willpower than most people; living on a smaller footprint just benefits us so much more. The Jones’s are now working hard to keep up with those of us who choose a simpler life.”

On the Smart Renting website, Steve and Rabea cover topics ranging from energy and water bills to food choices, decluttering and health.

This event will be presented via Zoom and streamed live onto the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page. A recording of the event will be available on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page instantly after the event.

To join live and be able to participate in the Q+A, please register for the Zoom presentation.

This free talk is hosted by Smart Living Ballarat for BREAZE Inc. in collaboration with the City of Ballarat and is part of a free series of monthly sustainability workshops presented every 3rd Wednesday of the month.