Back in November, I attended Multifamily Pro’s Brainstorming Session in Phoenix, AZ where Tami Siewruk presented another great insight into the upcoming Trends for the Apartment Industry. One of those was Greenest of Green. A buzz of this greening of our apartment communities has been around for years now. We all want to participate but our owners usually throw up the excuse of it is too expensive to use green cleaning products, replace lighting fixtures, bath faucets, shower heads, toilets, or use green flooring options. The truth is, if you were to try and do it all at once you might find it to be a very expensive endeavor. However, try taking some of the following baby steps to green your community.
1) Stop printing everything. Start using Digital files and storage.
2) When your desktop computers crash, replace them with laptops or tablets. Laptops use a quarter of the power of the big brother desktop.
3) Use White Vinegar as a cleaning agent, cheaper and better for the environment
4) Turn off and unplug electronic devices every evening. Even if a device is unplugged it is still pulling energy when it remains plugged into the outlet. One desktop just turned off at night is a $90 savings in electricity per year.
5) Choose low-toxic paints that also are low in volatile organic compounds, or VOCs
6) Establish a maintenance routine that includes inspecting for signs of leakage and water damage. Excessive moisture can cause structural damage and mold growth, resulting in compromised indoor air quality and health problems. Common sources of indoor moisture include leaky roofs and windows, plumbing and wet basements and crawl spaces.
7) When replacing appliances look for the Energy Star Rating.
8) If carpeting is being used at your community, when you must replace it look at using a recycled product. There are many affordable options on the market today.
9) Look to see if your city or state is offering grants, tax breaks or other incentives to replace lighting fixtures, shower heads, faucets and toilets with lower flow alternatives. For many owners they have found the investment actually pays for itself with savings of over 40,000 gallons of water per unit annually.
10) When negotiating your next garbage removal contract, insist it includes a recycling program. A recycling program could be the difference between whether you get the lease.
Make sure to also let your residents and prospective residents know you are making an effort to green your community through your marketing message. Take a look at how Enso Apartments in Atlanta, Georgia promotes their Eco-friendly lifestyle by visiting their website www.ensoatl.com. After all, the Grass is Always Greener at Enso.