7 Ways to Become an Eco-Friendly HOA
It’s no secret that sustainability is important. In fact, a recent study showed that 64% of people reported high levels of concern about sustainability—and these concerns have intensified over the past few years. Ensuring your homeowners’ association (HOA) keeps pace with this growing demand for green practices is crucial for the environment, maintaining resident satisfaction and retention, attracting new homeowners, and more. Read on as we explore why HOAs, boards, and residents should care about sustainability and helpful tips for an eco-friendly HOA.
Why is sustainability important in HOAs?
The benefits of a green HOA are far-reaching, rewarding, and impactful. When your board of directors, management company, community manager, and residents prioritize eco-friendly practices, you’ll:
- Save money. Many green habits have an up-front investment, but they’ll save you time and money down the road. Your HOA will be able to take advantage of tax incentives and decreased maintenance needs and utility bills.
- Have lower fees. Thanks to this saved money, residents often see lower fees and fewer special assessments to accommodate rising operational expenses.
- Attract residents. Now more than ever, people are concentrating on cutting their carbon footprint and are seeking eco-conscious neighborhoods. Demonstrating and emphasizing your HOA’s commitment to sustainability is attractive and enticing to the new generation and potential homebuyers.
- Increase community harmony. Resident involvement and engagement is key to a thriving community—and environmental initiatives can facilitate that. With a green committee and regular communications and events, it gives residents an opportunity to interact with one another and come together for a great cause.
7 helpful tips for a greener HOA
Your HOA won’t become green overnight. It takes time, effort, and money, but it’s worth it. Here are seven things your HOA can do for a more sustainable community:
1. Be smart about landscaping.
Many people move to a neighborhood with an HOA because of the beautifully maintained green areas and well-kept landscaping. Enhance this coveted benefit by employing green landscaping techniques. You can achieve this by:
- Using native and drought-resistant plants.
- Grouping plants with similar watering needs.
- Planting pollinator-friendly plants and trees.
- Installing water-saving sprinklers and making irrigation system upgrades.
- Adjusting watering schedules to match weather patterns.
- Hydrozoning green areas.
2. Start green programs.
You can show that your board cares about the environment by introducing eco-friendly programs within the community. The following are great ways to get residents involved and encourage green practices:
- Starting a community garden with organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
- Providing convenient curbside or drop-off recycling opportunities.
- Hosting a recycling event where homeowners can bring old batteries, plastic items, and electronics.
- Organizing a community clean-up day to pick up trash.
- Setting up composting stations.
- Hosting a locally sourced farmers market.
3. Educate residents.
To be successful, you’ll need to get residents on board with your HOA’s environmental initiatives. Offer regular informational seminars, form a green committee, and send communications with helpful at-home sustainability tips so people stay motivated and in the loop.
4. Implement green building practices.
If your HOA is building or remodeling amenities and common areas, use practices and materials with the environment in mind. Partner with contractors and companies who value sustainability and green building designs, operations, and solutions. For example, you can incorporate:
- Energy-efficient appliances and systems.
- Solar-powered lights.
- Low flow plumbing fixtures.
- Recycled building materials and decorations.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications.
5. Install electric vehicle charging stations.
Believe it or not, electric vehicles are projected to account for 18% of total car sales in 2023. People are opting for electric vehicles because of their reduced emissions, minimized carbon footprint, cost savings, and improved performance. Accommodate those who have decided to drive sustainably and invite others to do the same by installing convenient electric vehicle charging stations throughout your community.
6. Rethink lighting.
Consider upgrading to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs in all interior and exterior lighting. LED bulbs have an estimated energy efficiency of 80-90% compared to traditional light bulbs and have a lifetime expectation of up to 100 hours, freeing up time and money for your HOA leaders and maintenance professionals. To take it a step further, use solar-powered LED lights and adopt a “power down” policy for common areas and amenities that aren’t in use.
7. Go paperless.
From governing documents to meeting minutes and other notices, HOAs use a lot of paper. Make an effort to reduce waste and go paperless whenever possible. Luckily, with HOA-specific technology, doing this is easier than ever. Leading solutions like TownSq offer features that allow you to store documents, manage reports, and send communications digitally—empowering your HOA to save trees, time, and money.
It’s Easy Going Green with TownSq
From installing electric vehicle charging stations to starting green programs and being smart about landscaping and lighting, there are many ways your HOA can go green and make an impact; however, one of the easiest ways is leveraging technology solutions. With dedicated HOA software, like TownSq, your board of directors can conduct operations online and lessen your ecological footprint. Discover everything TownSq has to offer by signing up for a free 30-day trial today!