Being environmentally friendly is becoming a crucial aspect of daily life. Lowering your neighborhood's carbon footprint is something that your HOA board can do to better the Earth while teaching your community about nature and conservation.
However, going green in your community can be a challenge depending on certain regulations. This might even be a concept that you’re learning to embrace. You might ask, "What can I do to help the community be more environmentally friendly? Is there anything that I can do to help my homeowners association?"
Here are five simple and effective ways you can help your neighborhood become more environmentally friendly:
- Buy local. There are multiple benefits to buying local produce and meats. It keeps resources circulating within your region, and you help grow the local economy while developing relationships with your neighbors.
Buying local gives small-town farmers a chance to thrive, and it reduces food miles, which are the distance between where food is grown and where it's being purchased. Reducing food miles makes a huge impact by cutting down carbon emissions. Look into your local grocery store's transportation methods or check out Local Harvest to find farmer’s markets near you.
- Recycle. A lot of people do this regularly without even realizing how easy it is. There are many ways to recycle in your home and neighborhood. Use the recycling bins that your board gave you when you moved in, suggest a community recycling program, and encourage your neighbors to join in the movement. Show everyone how you recycle and express its benefits.
As for those old, unwanted technical devices, such as cell phones, computers, gaming systems, and televisions, donate them to a local charity to prevent them from going into landfills.
- Construct a community garden. A community garden is a great way to reconnect with nature while creating a green neighborhood. This practice saves plots of land and provides you with fresh fruits and vegetables while bringing your neighborhood together.
While gardening become an enjoyable hobby, it's the homegrown fruits and vegetables that offer the real variety of benefits, such as a better taste and more nutritients. Forming a community garden within your HOA community is easy, and it all starts with getting your board’s approval.
- Compost. It's the original form of recycling! This is an easy way to turn your yard and kitchen waste into healthy food for your garden. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away is food waste that's perfectly suitable compost. If you're still unsure about the practice, attend a free home composting class sponsored by the Frederick County Department of Solid Waste Management.
Otherwise, here are a few suggestions from IKO Community Management to help you start composting:
- Study on HOA rules and regulations. You might need the board's approval to get a project like this started.
- Select the perfect spot for your compost bin. This spot should be level and easily drain water.
- Avoid greasy and oily foods, meats, dairy, and animal waste. These items could potentially pollute your compost pile and harm your yard.
- Reduce car travel. If you live in an area where vehicle travel isn’t necessary, ditch the car at home every once in a while. Instead of driving to your neighbor’s house or to your favorite coffee shop, walk or bike to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants that are released into the air.
If you have to rely on vehicle transportation, use public transit or carpool with someone who's off to the same destination.
Living an environmentally friendly lifestyle at home comes with a few adjustments, and it's even more challenging to make your entire neighborhood eco-friendly. However, these tips will help you get the ball rolling. By following IKO's tricks, you can be a leader in making your HOA community greener.
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