“Going green” has now become accepted and even mainstream in our society. Community associations can play a major role in the green movement too. Community associations impact the Earth on many different levels and they have the ability to make a positive impact with the common areas that they maintain and control. The Association also has the ability to educate and encourage their Unit Owners to conserve our resources as well. Community associations can make an immediate impact by taking some of the following actions to save resources and money;
1. Adopt landscaping policies that promote Xeriscape techniques and encourage compliance with applicable watering restrictions.
2. Replace routine paper mailings with e-mail communication.
3. Develop a community website for access to association documents and announcements.
4. Provide recycling options for community members at designated places in the common areas and through contracted waste removal services for individual units.
5. Choose products made from sustainable materials for community projects such as roof, siding, and deck replacement and for individual homeowners’ use.
6. Reduce water consumption with rain sensors and flow meters.
7. Use compact fluorescent bulbs for common area lighting.
8. Upgrade older systems such as those used for irrigation, heating, cooling and laundry to more cost-effective, energy efficient models.
9. Outline preferred locations for solar energy devices and other energy saving devices like retractable window awnings.
10. Conduct an energy audit of your community with the assistance of a qualified professional, or through FPL, to identify additional ways to save energy and money for your association.
If all Community Associations could adopt some or all of these suggestions and also educate and encourage their unit owners to participate as well, I am sure that we could all make a positive impact on our environment.
John R. Math is the Owner of Associated Property Management (APM). We are a 21-year-old full-service property management company specializing in community association management in Palm Beach County, Florida. Currently, we provide management, maintenance, supervision, bookkeeping and administrative services for more than 130 community associations. We have a quarterly publication called the APM News and you may see additional articles at http://bit.ly/8RNMXJ We also write a blog on real estate and its affect on Community Associations in Florida