200 years ago there were less than one billion people on earth. If it seems like things have gotten a bit more crowded, it’s because there are now over 7 billion of us humans taking up space and using precious resources. Condo and Homeowner Associations can do their part to protect the earth by implementing green practices and making more eco-friendly choices.
Here are six suggestions a “green” HOA or condo association can implement, from our friends at Evercondo:
1. Use Paperless Communications
One of the biggest ways HOAs and COAs can be proactive is by cutting back on the amount of paper waste they create. Instead of sending out newsletters, fliers, and forms that will soon find their way into the trashcan, make use of electronic options. Create a spot on the community website or portal where governing documents, request or application forms, and other communications are kept. Send email blasts, electronic newsletters, and digital reminders instead of printing out countless pages of information. Software programs such as Evercondo can make managing and organizing electronic communications and files simple by having everything in one place.
2. Install Motion Detectors
Instead of keeping lights on all the time, use motion detectors so they’re only activated when needed. This can be done for both indoor and outdoor lights and significantly reduces energy usage. Motion sensors can also be a deterrent for suspicious activity because the lights pop on when movement is detected.
3. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Encourage homeowners to choose energy-efficient appliances when buying or replacing appliances in their home. Associations can also choose to use these types of devices in common areas such as business centers or clubhouses. Make sure they’re Energy Star Certified.
4. Service HVAC Systems Annually
Ensuring that the HVAC system is running efficiently is a great way to save energy and prolong the life of these systems. Regular maintenance can help to identify problems and keep the heat or air conditioning from being a drain on electricity because they are not functioning properly.
5. Promote Recycling
Many HOA and COA communities have recycling programs in place, but residents may not be taking full advantage of them. Post visual signs near recycling areas and send reminders about exactly what types of materials can be recycled. Residents may not realize that they can discard certain types of cardboard, paper, plastic, or other material. By simply raising awareness and educating homeowners, the HOA can help keep more waste out of landfills.
6. Plant Native Plants
When landscaping the area, use plants that are native to Hawaii and are hearty. They often require less watering and maintenance. Pick plants and shrubs that are appropriate for the amount of sunlight, shade, and rainfall that the area receives. Consider installing an irrigation system to help control water usage, or limit watering to early morning or later in the evening so that it has time to soak in before the heat of the day.
Adopting more eco-friendly practices and going green can help with managing costs in the Association while also cutting down on unnecessary waste and energy usage. We only have one Earth, so we should be doing all that we can to protect it for generations to come.
What other ways have you found to go green in your HOA or condo community? We’d love to hear from you!