Going green isn’t a new trend. Consumers today expect companies and organizations to conduct business in a way that respects the environment. If your HOA community is thinking about making some improvements, especially if there’s a need to attract new residents, moving your community in a more environmentally friendly direction may be the way to go.
IKO Community Management has a few tips to make your HOA community greener! If you have any to share, please leave your ideas in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
- Encourage responsible landscaping practices. Lush, well-maintained yards are a staple of any HOA community. Going green doesn’t mean residents will have to say goodbye to great landscaping!
- Reduce chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- The EPA recommends not using turf, but instead allowing natural grasses to grow. Encourage residents to plant native plants, and to avoid invasive species of plants. Check out this website to learn more about what plants are native to your area.
- Downsize equipment. Recommend that your residents chose smaller options when it comes to mowers. Try a metal reel push mower out for size! Many HOA communities have smaller lots that would be perfectly manageable with this type of mower. Another option would be to offer a lending library of lawn maintenance equipment, for the community to borrow from instead of every household owning their own large mower.
- Evaluate water usage. It may be possible for your community to collect rainwater to use for irrigation and sprinkler systems.
- Utilize common spaces in an environmentally responsible way.
- Be mindful of water usage if your community has fountains. It may be time to upgrade your system to a lower waste option.
- Consider dedicating a part of your community for a community garden. Butterfly gardens are both beautiful and attract insects that aid plant pollination. Vegetable gardens are a good way to bring the community together, for both education and fun!
- If your community is in a wooded area, consider investing in building and maintaining a nature trail. Local Boy Scout troops and other volunteer organizations might be able to help!
- Go paperless.
- Make your community’s materials available for download on your community’s website. Have thumb drives available if you have a physical office for your HOA.
- Encourage your residents to recycle paper. Host a document-shredding event annually to safely dispose of sensitive information. If your residents complain about the amount of spam mail that they receive, encourage them to report the senders to limit the waste.
- Remind residents to recycle.
- Many communities have mandatory bins when it comes to recycling.
- Refrigerator magnets are a great way to remind residents of when to take their recycling to the curb.
- Post recycling guidelines to your website. Items that can be recycled change from area to area so this resource will be especially useful to new residents of your community.
- Go big.
- Do you have land to work with? Communities may struggle with opting to add solar panels or wind mills when there’s the possibility of adding additional home constructions. These options could lower your community’s energy costs and may come with tax incentives, depending on your area.
- New homes should be built to limit energy waste. This will not only save your residents money, but it’s better for the environment.
Has your community become more environmentally friendly since you moved in? How did they do it?
IKO Community Management knows that many communities want to go green, but they think that it will either be too difficult or too expensive. IKO hopes that these options will allow you to make changes that will be in everyone’s best interests.