Four Ways To Green Up Your Apartment Community Without Spending A Fortune

You only have to turn on the TV or browse the internet for a few minutes to catch a glimpse of how important environmentally friendly living has become to many people. Surely some of your renters are among those who are taking steps to live in a more eco-friendly, sustainable manner. If you want to increase tenant retention and also attract more new tenants, making some eco-friendly improvements to your apartment community and the way it operates is wise. And you don't have to spend thousands to make these changes, either. Here's a look at four ways to green up your apartment community on a tight budget.

Choose Low-VOC paints and cleaning products.

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are organic compounds that are released from products like conventional paint and some cleaners. They're not great for health, and they can harm animals and plants when they leech into the outdoor environment, too. Get into the habit of always choosing low-VOC products whenever you paint or deep-clean an apartment. These products only cost a few dollars more than conventional ones. Let potential tenants know that you do so by advertising your use of low-VOC products on your website and brochures.

Place recycling bins in public areas.

Placing recycling bins in common hallways, recreational facilities, your leasing office, and any other shared spaces not only encourages passersby to recycle instead of throwing paper and plastic items in the trash, it also makes your community look good. If one of the first things visitors see when they arrive to tour your apartment community is a recycling bin, they'll immediately perceive your community as green and sustainable. Depending on your local municipality, you may have to pay a small fee for each extra recycling bin on your property. Some municipalities provide additional bins for free after you pay for a certain number.

Ask tenants and potential tenants if they'd like to opt out of paper mailings.

If you're still sending paper bills, paper notices, and other mailings to tenants and applicants, you're wasting paper. There may be a few tenants who are less digitally savvy and prefer to still receive these mailings, but the majority of them probably just toss the mailings in the trash and rely on the email versions, anyways. Send all of your tenants an email asking whether they'd like to opt out of paper mailings in order to help you operate in a more environmentally friendly manner. Then, delete those who say "yes" from your paper mailing list.

When a potential tenant applies to lease from you, ask him or her if electronic or paper communication is preferred. Most will opt for electronic communication, so you can save paper. Reducing your use of paper helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserves space in landfills.

Plant a community garden.

Chances are, you have some tenants who are interested in gardening. Send out an email or post on your social media pages to see if any of them would be interested in banding together to plant a community garden. You can provide the seeds (or started plants) and gardening tools. Create a plan that allows individual residents to have access to the community garden as long as they contribute a certain number of hours per month to helping tend to it. Growing vegetables and herbs is good for the environment because the plants absorb carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and release valuable oxygen. When your tenants pick community-grown produce instead of buying it from the store, they're also using less plastic packaging and contributing less to factory farming.

Using low-VOC products, reducing your paper mailings, planting a community garden, and placing more recycling bins around your community will make your apartments more appealing to eco-conscious renters. As your business grows thanks to attracting new tenants, you can keep building on these ideas and take additional sustainable steps.

For more information, contact a management company like Rest Easy Property Management.