An HOA community can become more eco-friendly by finding ways to balance the well-being of its residents with celebrating nature's beauty and preserving the environment. There is a lot of talk about fostering a sustainability culture and implementing eco-friendly practices, but how can an HOA go about it?
The following tips provide several ways to work with the community to build a more sustainable, attractive, eco-friendly living environment for HOA residents and the community.
1) Sustainable Landscaping
Turn your community into a vibrant, eco-friendly wonderland by encouraging the use of thriving, attractive native plants in residents' yard landscaping and common areas.
Keep areas well-planted to prevent soil erosion, and use landscapes with features like rain gardens to keep rainwater on the property where it can soak into the ground. Work with a stormwater system management company to ensure proper storm drain cleaning to prevent flooding. Clean, effective storm drains have filters that keep oil, trash and other debris from clogging and polluting the community's stormwater drainage system and local water bodies.
For residents who like having a lawn, even a corner of the yard filled with beautiful wildflowers can add some eco-chic and benefit the environment. The HOA can plant common areas with drought-resistant native plants to reduce water usage and maintenance. In arid areas, residents can use xeriscaping, a landscape design requiring minimal maintenance and little or no irrigation. Limiting the use of fertilizers and chemical pesticides can also keep the landscaping more eco-friendly.
2) Encourage Wildlife Conservation
Welcome the pollinators to your neighborhood! Ways to go green for HOAs include creating community spaces and policies supporting local wildlife. Encourage residents to enhance their homes with features like birdhouses and planted butterfly gardens to attract beautiful, buzzing friends. Choose native flowering plants for bee-friendly common areas, and the community will be repaid with a kaleidoscope of color and a thriving, beautiful ecosystem.
3) Water Conservation
Promote water conservation by installing low-flow fixtures, drought-resistant landscaping, and irrigation systems equipped with rain sensors. Educate the community on the water savings they can achieve by taking actions such as switching from thirsty turf to drought-tolerant grass varieties.
Encourage residents to take advantage of rainfall by collecting it in rain barrels. They can use the water to irrigate plants and reduce their water bills.
Educate residents on how to use water responsibly and encourage water-saving yard maneuvers such as mulching. This practice discourages weeds, keeps the soil moist, and plants warm during the colder months.
4) Community Green Guidelines
Establish a set of "green guidelines" as an HOA and encourage the community to adopt the new policies while communicating enforcement actions that will apply to residents who do not comply. Eco-friendly policies can cover many areas, such as waste reduction, energy efficiency, architectural standards, and landscaping.
5) Green Building Standards
Implementing ways to go green for HOAs can help residents jump on the latest trends for creating cozy and energy-saving homes. Implement green building standards for the community that apply to new construction and renovations. Encourage energy-efficient designs and the use of sustainable building materials.
Educate residents on the energy and money-saving benefits of proper insulation, which can reduce the need for heating and cooling throughout the year. Encourage homeowners to adopt smart-home devices and solar panel technology as additional ways to enhance their homes while saving energy and money.
Once a year, you can organize a "Green House Tour" for homes in the community that have embraced eco-friendly ideas. Homeowners can show off their "green building standards" in action and share tips with other residents.
6) Waste Reduction and Recycling Programs
Implement a waste reduction program that encourages resident practices such as composting, which can turn kitchen scraps and yard waste into valuable soil full of nutrients. This tip is especially helpful for residents who maintain their own fruit and veggie gardens.
Implement a recycling program encouraging residents to recycle plastic, paper, metal and glass. The HOA can provide community recycling bins and schedule pickup and disposal for recyclable items. Additionally, work with the community to organize recycling drives and schedule events for residents to discard e-waste.
7) Community Education and Engagement
Ways to go green for HOAs include having events and activities that engage the community and educate them on eco-friendly practices. Host regular workshops and events and add informational content to the community newsletter—schedule eco-conscious social events with seed swaps, plant sales and other fun events.
Consider creating an award for the greenest home or the most eco-friendly landscape for a little competitive fun, such as "Green Resident of the Month." Show some recognition and celebrate residents who embrace sustainable landscaping. These events can inspire and teach residents about the benefits of sustainable practices and how they can implement more eco-friendly choices into their everyday lives.
Make Your HOA Community More Eco-Friendly
Embarking on a journey toward greener, more eco-conscious living can pay many dividends in an HOA community. Encouraging residents to be part of the eco-adventure can transform and enhance the community over time.
Remember that the commitment to living a greener lifestyle extends to protecting the water ecosystem and the community stormwater systems. To keep storm drains clear of debris and prevent the community from floods and other stormwater-related problems, you can count on reputable storm drain companies such as CatchAll Environmental to resolve the issues in an eco-friendly way. Contact us today to find out more!