Going green means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.

Putting this into condominium or homeowner (HOA) association terminology, we can equate this to our proper approach of reserve contributions in a pay-as-you-go structure that sustains the financial fortitude of the community for decades or generations to come. Going green creates a similar sustainability, just in a different model.

Helping create a sustainable earth is important to each and every one of us, whether we admit it or not. There are many reasons why going green is important, from lowering utility bills to stopping the effects of global warming, but what is the most important reason? 

To answer this essential question Sustainable Earth conducted an online poll in 2012, giving each participant 4 options to choose from, which included: 

  • Lower monthly utility bills
  • To reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases
  • To stop global warming and its effects
  • Make the planet livable for future generations

Ironically, they found that stopping global warming was the least important option, but with 53% of the votes, making the planet livable for future generations was most important to the participants for going green.  What option would you have chosen?

Going green in your condominium or homeowner (HOA) association or in your workplace can be obtained in many ways, some quite easily, while others require a bit more effort, forethought, and/or teamwork.  Some things we can do to create a green environment include:

  • Recycling.  It’s no longer the exception but is now the norm.  Most of us are already doing this at home in some form or fashion, but what about your workplace?
  • Alternative Energy.  Also known as renewable energy, utilizes a diversified mix of wind, geothermal, hydro, and solar resources. Most utility companies provide this as an option for residential and commercial consumers.  Check with your local utility provider if this option is available in your market.
  • Paperless or Paperleast.  I use the term Paperleast as the probability of companies or households to go completely paperless is quite rare.  Nevertheless, reducing our use of paper is a vital component in going green.  We may also want to consider using recycled paper products for the limited paper we do make us of.
  • Go to Sleep.  Not ourselves of course, but our computer systems.  This is especially significant in the workplace.  Setting our computers to go into sleep mode shortly after we stop using them will save a considerable amount of energy use.
  • Lighting.  Consider changing your home or workplace lighting to LED or CFL light options.  They are more expensive up front but will last much longer and use less energy making them a more financially viable choice.  You can determine how much you will save by using the Energy Star calculator.
  • Energy Audit.  Energy.gov recommends an energy audit as the first step in assessing how much energy you consume and to evaluate measures you can take to be more energy efficient. Many local utility companies will provide a free energy audit or at least may provide you with recommendations for such audit service providers.
  • Green Transportation.  While this may not be a viable option for many of us, commuting by means of a train, light rail, bus, bicycle, scooter or even walking contributes to our green efforts.  Even carpooling with co-workers or neighbors that work near your workplace can make a considerable impact as well.

 Choosing to adopt some, a few, of even all of the above will make a difference you can feel good about and contribute to the sustainability of our planet for future generations to come.