Be A Green HOA

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Learn how to make your homeowners association community more environmentally friendly.

One of the most popular resolutions each year among Americans is to reduce, reuse and recycle. Is that also a resolution for your homeowners association? Luckily, there are many ways for your HOA to be more environmentally friendly.

Use eco-friendly landscaping.

Use indigenous and drought-resistant plants to reduce the need to water. And when you do water, use a sprinkler system with timers, water-efficient spray heads or rain-excess sensors, which detect when there’s been enough rainfall to skip an irrigation cycle. When possible, use rainwater capture systems to water common area vegetation.

Bring recycling home

Many cities require its residents to recycle. If yours doesn’t, there likely still is a recycling service available that your HOA could take part in. Contact a recycling company in your area to determine costs and the types of services offered. You may find that you can reduce your garbage expenses if you recycle more and throw out less—which could offset the extra cost of a recycling program. When you do get a recycling program set up, be sure to educate residents on what can and cannot be recycled.

Stop the paper trail.

HOAs have many documents to manage, but with the abundance of electronic systems available today, those documents don’t have to be on paper. Securely store documents to which everyone on the board needs access in the “cloud” with services such as as Dropbox. Communicate with board members and residents over email. Set up a community website to announce events, post important reminders and provide resident news.

Remodel right.

If your HOA needs to make improvements to the property, use energy-efficient and eco-friendly materials. Energy STAR appliances, low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, energy-efficient thermostats for common areas, solar-generated light fixtures and timers for outdoor lighting can all help your HOA be more green—and even may save the association some green!

Educate residents.

Use your electronic newsletter or HOA website to learn about recycling programs, the importance of quickly fixing leaks or drafty windows and how to save energy and water. Or ask a community leader to speak about eco-friendly materials and processes at an HOA meeting.

Looking for more ways to be environmentally friendly? Check out the EPA website, which offers a number of green tips for the home, garden and community.

Source: Earth911.com, EcoVillageGreen.com
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