This Month’s Question comes from Leslie in Los Angeles:
“Hi Kari, as a building owner, what are your suggestions for going green?”
Hi Leslie! Thank you for your question, and what a great time of year to ask! Let’s call it “Green Cleaning.” Here are 5 tips on going green:
Tips for Going Green
Tip 1: Give Renters and Tenants what they want: Go GREEN.
I recently heard that 86%, or nearly 9 in 10 Americans, want to live in green communities. Surprisingly, cost efficiency is not the #1 reason. A sense of world-community and environmental stewardship is. Three times as many renters, compared to non-renters, say it is absolutely necessary. More than ½ of renters are willing to pay at least $100 more in monthly rent in order to be environmentally responsible. Surveyed renters say that the most important reason for living in an eco-friendly apartment is because it is good for the earth.
Tip 2: Start simple.
Consider incorporating simple changes such as energy efficient light bulbs, drought resistant landscaping, low flush toilets, and motion controlled for some exterior lighting. For master metered buildings, energy efficient light bulbs inside and outside and timer-controlled A/C units can also create significant savings.
Tip 3: Let the public know.
Don’t be afraid to do some public relations. If many renters feel that energy efficiency and environmentally friendly features are important, it’s key to let them know. Communities/buildings emphasizing that they are either working to go green or are already implementing green programs can gain favor of both current and prospective renters.
Tip 4: Educate your residents.
Offer clear instructions to residents about your green amenities, practices and promises. Consider doing a pamphlet, resident flyers and educational signage such as recycling instructions and information.
Tip 5: Stay informed.
New, emerging green technologies are constantly being developed. If you walked through a home furnishings store recently, you may have noticed more LED lighting options than in previous years. As the adoption rates of new products increase, production costs go down, and it may be cost-effective to change out pigtail bulbs to LED’s, which last longer, contain no mercury, and use less power. Websites such as www.energystar.gov and www.greenhome.com offer current information and products.
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