Tips and tricks on how to turn your HOA into a Green HOA
There are various opinions out there about what “being green” what really means. What “being green” means to us in the HOA management world is saving our association communities money, while also being environmentally friendly. Here are some tested and tried strategies on how your HOA community can become a Green HOA
Green HOA Tips
Being green starts with using and consuming less and reducing waste.
- E-statements / Email Notifications / Reduce Postage
As you know likely know, HOA and condo associations can rack an expensive administration bill when mailing out community wide notices on a consistent basis. With stamps nearing $.50, you want to be selective about what your community is sending out via snail mail. Obviously things like annual meeting notices and certified collection or violation notices may always have their place for legal and enforcement reasons. But certain notices like newsletters, monthly payment notices, or general community announcements certainly could be sent electronically.
- Water bill / irrigation savings
Almost all associations have some kind or monthly water bill statement. Some high-rise communities can have larger bills, while some of the smaller of HOA’s may only have some light irrigation. Water prices however are rising at a rapid pace all over the country. Monitoring your water bill along with keeping up the latest news concerning water rates will help your association stay on top of this. Make sure you have a licensed irrigation specialist working with your landscaping team setting your irrigation controllers in accordance your local watering schedules and times.
Several of our associations have actually invested in water bill savings equipment. These systems help reduce water and sewer bills by removing the measured air from the water meters. Our associations have had a great experience with these systems and have saved several thousand dollars to date. If your associations’ water costs are getting out of hand, contact Greenway Concepts to learn how to lower those escalating costs.
Anytime you can be resourceful and reuse association materials, you are on your way to being a Green HOA.
- Re-using Signs and Banners
Many HOA communities utilize signs and banners to help communicate with the owners and residents. Instead of buying temporary signs for things like community events and annual meeting notifications, invest in reusable correx material that you can simply reuse for different dates and events. If it’s an HOA community event that happens on a regular or consistent basis, consider spending a bit more money on a metal based sign for a much longer useful life.
- Tree Trimming equals free mulch
For those of you that live in heavily wooded areas, you know how much waste and debris can created from just trimming up the trees throughout the neighborhood. When the hired HOA landscape or arborist professionals take care of the annual tree trimming, inquire about them using a wood chipper on site and turning the cut branches into fresh mulch as opposed to hauling them off. It’s a great opportunity to replenish the mulch in the HOA community property areas or offer it is a free give away for the owners that live in the association to spruce up their own landscape.
Reusing old products to create new ones is what be being green is all about.
- Recycling Program / Pick-up
You would think that recycling would be a pretty obvious one, but many communities still don’t participate in a recycling program. A consistent recycling program besides all the obvious environmental benefits can also, reduce the number of trash pick-ups as well as create better trash / recycle bundled pricing for the waste management services. Many communities have evolved over the years and have began to provide their owners with larger recycle bins as opposed to a small little cart or container which only helps encourage owners to participate. Some newer communities are even requiring via their initial declaration and that recycling participation is a requirement of all residents.
- Electronics and appliance recycling drives
Disposing of electronics or appliances incorrectly can have some real negative effects on our environment. Not disposing of that old 50 pound monitor you have stored away in the closet correctly, can have harsh environmental consequences. Currently E-waste accounts for only 2% of overall landfill waste, but also represents 70% of overall toxic waste. With technology forever evolving, this is surely a problem that won’t be disappearing any time soon. Starting an HOA community wide E-waste recycling event is great way to for everyone to come together, responsibly dispose off your old giant big screen, (don’t miss those at all) and prevent some very toxic items from ever reaching your local landfill.
Appliance disposal has come a long way versus prior years. Many cities and municipalities have adapted an organized appliance recycling program of sorts and it surely has paid off. As recently as 2010, 72% of all major appliances were recycled. Although many cities and waste management companies have an established program, it is important to help educate your HOA or condo community. It will certainly go a long way in preventing them showing up on someone’s curb or in the community dumpster.
It’s certainly our belief that being “green” and Green technology are certainly here to stay. As an HOA management company, we certainly want help our communities adopt Green practices and ideas whenever we can, and certainly when they can save our community associations money on their bottom line. With just a few modifications and little bit of effort, your HOA can be a Green HOA.