We have been given the gift of life on Earth. In order to keep our wonderful gift, we need to take good care of the environment. To do their part, many companies and organizations are “Going Green” to help preserve and sustain life on Earth. As a Homeowners Association, you have many opportunities to introduce sustainability into your community. Below you will find 6 eco-friendly, green initiatives for HOA board members and management to consider to help improve your local environment.
1. Educate and Get Your Community Involved
One of the best ways to have a sustainable community is to educate residents about the importance of green initiatives. One way to do this is to include recommendations within your HOA newsletter for your residents to begin practicing green initiatives. . This is the most effective way to reach all of your members at once. Tips and recommendations for community members can include guidance on reducing energy usage and advice on how to recycle. You can take things a step further by holding a community education day, organizing a recycling drive, starting a community garden or compost station.
2. Offer Recycling Opportunities
To help your community-association, the HOA can provide recycling opportunities on-site by enlisting a regular curbside collection service or providing drop-off bins in the communal areas of the neighborhood’s property. Ask your community members and board of directors for input on how to include other recycling initiatives in your community.
3. Reduce Water Use
One of the best ways to help the environment is to focus your efforts outside. You can start by finding ways to reduce the amount of water used throughout the neighborhood. Start by having the plumbing checked, as leaky pipes can affect water usage greatly. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. Other ways to reduce water use include installing smart sprinkler systems, switching to water-efficient irrigation systems, and educating your neighbors and residents on how to conserve water within their homes.
4. Work with Green Contractors
Speaking of plumbers, whenever you need to contract out work that will be done within your HOA community, choose to work with companies that are also practicing sustainability within their business practices. These can include lawn mowing services, electricians, construction companies and more.
5. Choose Eco-Friendly Landscaping
An easy, efficient way to further your water saving efforts is to choose indigenous and drought-resistant plants and grass. Group plants that require similar water treatments together to conserve water. The money saved on water can then be used to invest in other eco-friendly technologies.
6. Limit Paper Use
In today’s digitally driven world, it is easy and affordable to use systems that allow you to communicate with your residents without wasting paper. Additionally, we have access to virtual meetings, scheduling, cloud-based file sharing systems, messaging, and emails. allowing board members to communicate remotely, without printed documents or files. Homeowners within your HOA should have the choice between paper or digital versions of any community documents. This can be provided to them via your community website. Going paperless not only makes you a green homeowner association, but also saves you time and money.
Get Residents Involved
As mentioned previously, encouraging community residents to participate in sustainability is one of the best ways to start a green HOA. To help, here are even more ways you can get your residents involved:
- Switch to LED Lights
- Invest in energy-efficient appliances
- Install Smart thermostats
- Recycle plastic materials
- Reuse plastic shopping bags and water bottles
- Carpool with family members and neighbors when possible
- Limit time spent showering/bathing
- Turn off water and electricity when it is not in use
Lower Your HOA’s Carbon Footprint
The benefits of a Green HOA include many benefits; however, the biggest benefit may be improving your residents’ quality of life. Though some eco-friendly initiatives will be harder to implement than others, the benefits that stick around in the long run outweigh any expenses or troubles encountered to get it done. The money you will begin to save from your green initiatives can be used to further improve your community and the environment, as well as lower your HOA fees. Stand out to potential homeowners as well because your ecological efforts show that you have good intentions. Tell us, how will your homeowners association be “Going Green” this year?