Green living and recycling go hand-in-hand. Most people are willing to recycle when bins are in place. The same concept applies to green living. As more people get onboard in protecting the environment and resources, it’s easy to introduce a few green practices. You can make it even more appealing if the practices that you initiate can save money while also helping the environment. This is a win-win for everyone. If your Homeowners Association Board is interested in adopting some green living practices for your community, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Check available resources. It’s important that you know and communicate the services that are available to your community. Keep a calendar of services that are available at specific times of the year (Christmas tree chipping, document shredding days at local banks, etc.). Add this information to your website, newsletter and other communication channels.
Break it down in dollars and cents. It’s all about results and the bottom line. For example, how much do a few leaky faucets cost the HOA annually? While there’s no scientific formula for a leaky faucet, there’s a good estimator at ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/sc4.html. When you communicate to residents, show them how everyone can benefit (money saved) from a small change like repairing leaking faucets.
Educate residents. The more that owners learn about how they can benefit, the more willing they are to participate. Reach out on your website and in your newsletter to share tips and stories. Recruit interested residents into a group to help communicate the benefits. Many Internet sites have information that you can use for education and research. A couple of good ones are www.energystar.gov and www.thedailygreen.com.
Schedule routine repair days. It’s so easy to postpone fixing leaky faucets, running toilets and drafty windows in homes and common areas, especially if utility bills aren’t individually paid. Making it easy for people to sign up for repairs increases the likelihood of repairs happening. And a big benefit to a repair day is that you can usually negotiate lower cost since it’s all in one area if you don’t have an on-site maintenance staff.
Follow the law. Sometimes the law is on your side. If the law supports your green efforts, make sure your HOA Board is aware and that the community is in compliance.
Don’t give up if everyone doesn’t jump on board. If you get 20 percent of the residents to take advantage of a few green living practices, that’s a big win for the owners and the HOA. Share the success stories and you’ll see more people begin to take advantage of ways to save money and time while they help the environment. You are making a difference, so savor each victory.
Wise Property Solutions serves condominium and homeowners associations by addressing their financial, association and facilities management needs. The only certified and licensed community association management firm serving the Mountain South (Virginia, North & South Carolina, Tennessee) with offices in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville. Wise Property Solutions provides condo and homeowners association management services in Johnson City, TN; Bristol, TN; Kingsport, TN; Knoxville, TN and the surrounding region.