How to Go Green with your HOA
Throughout California, more communities are working to reduce their carbon footprints. Communities are also taking care of the natural landscapes that make them more beautiful. Going green is no longer just for the hippies, it’s now a common trend among more traditional people, and HOAs throughout the state are starting to input regulations and initiatives meant to help protect the environment that they oversee. That means that a lot more of your neighbors may be starting to get proactive about taking care of the earth. If you’re one of those people, or if you’re looking to give your community a jumpstart on how to take care of the land, then here are a few tips to get started.
Water has always been a scarce commodity in California, but did you know that there are ways to design your community to conserve more water and go green? Eco-landscaping utilizes some ingenious water-saving techniques throughout their designs, and that means that you can keep your garden green and healthy without too much hassle. Some of these kinds techniques include:
- Planting drought-resistant vegetation and desert-native plants to help keep water costs down
- Implementing natural spillways or irrigation systems throughout your garden to cut down on wasteful sprinkler use
- Start using water-saving sprinkler programs and water-efficient sprinkler heads to cut down on waste
Household appliances have continuously been improved to be more energy and resource-efficient. Tankless water heaters, for example, require 20-30% less energy than a conventional water heater by only heating water as-needed. Water-efficient shower heads and flushing toilets are also a valuable addition to any home, and can save money in the long run. For washing clothes, horizontal washing machines cut energy use in half compared to traditional washers. If your HOA currently doesn’t have any incentives outfitting your home with energy-saving appliances, maybe consider lobbying to put an incentive plan together to help put your neighbors on the right path.
Cutting down on waste production is one of the best ways to go green. This includes a number of things. Not just assiduous recycling, which is the most common type, but reducing the amount of chemical fertilizers and pesticides can make a big difference in ensuring the health of the land. If incorporating new rules about which kinds of fertilizers are allowed in your community is not an option, then perhaps talk to one of your HOA board members and convince them to post a list of recommended, less harmful materials or vendors that won’t be too damaging. Again, this should mostly include materials that are native to your area in order to help cut down on maintenance costs and maintain the health of your property.
Is your HOA constantly posting flyers or sending out snail mail to your community? Even though a hot pink flyer that shows the date of the summer barbecue may be festive, it’s also incredibly wasteful. Consider putting a ban on all paper notifications for the HOA. Make it mandatory for community members to sign up to the HOA emailing list, so they can stay in the loop about what’s going on in the neighborhood without wasting resources. It’s a simple fix, but it adds up quickly.
If your community is looking to cut down on waste, save water, energy or money, then there’s no shortage of great things you can do to go green. But if you’re not sure where to start, then this guide will put you on the right track.