Going... Going... Going... GONE GREEN!

I'm a hippie at heart.  In third grade, I decided that ecology was cool and have pretty much been hooked on saving the dolphins and trees ever since.  I didn't know it was science until I was way too far sucked in to decide it was too hard to understand.  Science is sneaky that way.  But, to me, dolphins and trees are totally worth it.

You've got $11 in your community budget for this one!

The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet one Simple Step at a Time

No doubt you already know that going green is a great trend in multi-family housing, as it is in most industries.  The planet isn't going to last forever, and it seems that the grand majority of Americans out there are finally understanding this.  Maybe it's that I live in hippie central up here in Seattle, but there's just no disputing that tree hugging is in.  It makes people feel good, and now anyone can be "green" without wearing itchy burlap or eating a bunch of tofu.

For apartments though, it can seem complicated.  Building "green" doesn't pay off for about 20 years.  Changing out your community's windows runs in the thousands of dollars.  Compact florescent light bulbs don't have the same immediate brightness that you get with incandescents which can lead to a poor presentation of the home, and the bulbs, while they last for up to 7 years, are definitely not the cheapest to implement community wide.

All that said, people are basing buying decisions on eco-friendliness.  If they weren't, those reusable shopping bags that every store has branded now wouldn't be so danged popular (and did you read Lisa Trosien's post on those?  It's not a good idea... it's a darned outstanding idea!), and $5 a light bulb wouldn't sound reasonable.  If you can afford to retrofit for a greener world then you should try it.  If you're building new, then build green, because what might take a while in profits will pay of huge in the court of public opinion and when it comes to getting leases, that's all that matters.  People need to feel that warm fuzzy from doing good by Mother Earth, and they need your marketing to give it to them.

So what is your average hippie-at-heart apartment management professional to do?  How about your die hard republican, gotta-make-money-in-this-market kind of manager?

Well, either way, you'd better get yourself a copy of The Green Book.  It's an easy read, only 224 pages, and those pages are packed with ideas and implementations from celebrities.  The book is full of great fun facts that you can use for your newsletters and could spark some new ideas for resident retention, such as community libraries (see my post later this week!!!), barter boards, or providing a drop off point for some hard to recycle items like cell phones and computer hardware (If you want some more great recycling tips for hard to dispose of items, check out the September and October issues of Real Simple magazine.  They had an awesome two part article on recycling from A to Z!).  It's a book loaded with great multi-family idea springboards!  Best of all, a good majority of the solutions in the book cost little to nothing to implement and are still a noticeable, and marketable, change in your community!

Go buy The Green Book. It probably costs less than you spent on that latte and your lunch.  Actually, buy a copy of it used on line or from half price books. It's even more eco-friendly that way.  Reused AND printed on recycled paper!  Probably with soybean based inks!  I love it!!!

What have you done in your communities to Go Green?

The Results are In!!! The prices of the two bedrooms are...

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