When people hear the term “going green,” they tend to associate it with a drastic and difficult lifestyle change—but it does not have to be that way. There are some basic steps that individuals homeowners or even entire communities can take to make more efficient use of their water and energy resources. Not only does this save money, but it is good for the planet! Your HOA can spearhead some of these initiatives, and encourage residents to take part in these green HOA endeavors.
A few suggestions:
- First, remember that going green is not just an indoor pursuit; your HOA can embrace eco-friendly landscaping, and that can make a huge difference! Try to plant trees and bushes that are either indigenous, or drought-proof—meaning they will require less water. A good investment—and one that pays for itself, in the long run—is a sprinkler system that can detect when there has been sufficient rainfall, and adjust its volumes accordingly.
- You may find that enlisting a recycling company to come in and set up a community-wide recycling program actually reduces your trash pickup costs. It is worth looking into, at least—but make sure you educate your residents on the program, to get the most out of it!
- The HOA board itself can go paperless, relying on e-mail and cloud-based file sharing systems like Dropbox. This reduces expenses and it reduces paper waste!
- If you have common areas such as clubhouses or pool houses, invest in smart thermostats and energy-efficient appliances.
- Finally, educate residents about how they can make a difference. Use your community newsletter or blog to offer regular green tips and guidelines.
Going green is something that is good for the Earth and good for the finances—and your HOA board can lead the charge!