GREENING YOUR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
Wendy Murray, LCAM, CMCA; Association Services of FloridaPrintEmailEDITED Mon, 08 February 2010 10:30:54 EST
Association Boards members and managers often ask about how their associations can go “green." Regardless of whether you reside in a condominium, co-op or a homeowners’ association there are some ways in which to improve your association’s impact on the environment that can pertain to all varieties of community associations. “Greening” your association and/or improving its sustainability means finding ways to save energy and protecting or improving resources. Since community associations are about harmonious living, it follows that we should strive to live in harmony with the environment as well. By improving the manner in which our associations interact with the environment we improve the quality of life for our current residents as well as future generations.
The following is a list of some ways your association can become more “green”:
· Xeriscape landscaping – the use of native landscaping that is drought tolerant and non-invasive
· Waste/Trash – remember the 3 Rs, reduce, recycle and reuse
· Water usage/consumption – use low capacity toilets and low-flow plumbing fixtures for faucets and shower heads as well as collect rainwater
· Energy – use wind and/or solar energy
· Materials – when possible use recycled materials
· Lighting – as you replace existing light bulbs consider replacing them with LEED light bulbs to save energy and costs
· Cleaning products – when possible use organic compounds
· Pest Control – avoid “blanket spraying” applications and promote “Integrated Pest Management” practices whereas you treat the specific problems only in lieu of spraying all plants and trees. Consider using natural predators instead of chemicals as well.
· Storm Water Runoff – be aware of chemicals that may exist in your storm water runoffs and when possible use plants and other natural filters to reduce pollutants
· Encourage residents to recycle, use native plant materials and possibly create a Green committee to promote awareness to residents
The ten aforementioned suggestions are basic ways that community associations can take steps to become more environmentally friendly and/or more “green”. Please consult industry professionals for more specific ways to save energy and reduce costs.
Association Services of Florida provides community association management and developer services throughout Florida. Should you desire more information about emergency preparedness and/or assistance with developing a disaster plan for your community association, feel free to contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 714-3514.