No matter how great your community is, your residents sometimes need to leave home to go to work, run errands and enjoy nearby recreational activities. About 44% of Americans are interested in transit-oriented development to reduce their carbon footprint, and there are a growing number of communities located near public transit. However, most residents still need to drive personal vehicles for many reasons. In this post, we explore how getting around in gas cars affects emissions and local air quality and show how you as an HOA board member can help make a difference by promoting alternative transit in your community.
1. Encourage Alternative Transportation Methods
Transportation accounts for about a third of greenhouse emissions in the U.S., and over half of that total comes from light-duty cars and trucks like the ones we drive around every day. While recycling is an important way for your community to benefit the environment, it takes a whopping 20 pounds of recycling to offset the emissions from three gallons of gas. As an HOA board member, you can take a big step toward reducing your community’s environmental footprint by encouraging your neighbors to carpool or drive zero-emission vehicles as well as encouraging your local government to provide convenient and safe access to public transit or biking and walking trails.
2. Become Aware of Air Quality
Greenhouse gas emissions aren’t just an abstract concern: they have a direct effect on the air quality where you live. Air pollution can aggravate existing health issues, stress the heart and lungs and even damage lung cells. Over time, exposure to poor quality air can negatively affect lung capacity and even lead to conditions like asthma, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. To protect the quality of the air in your community, check your local air quality index and alert residents about air quality action days, when they might consider taking the bus or driving a zero-emission vehicle to get to where they need to go. You can also explore renewable energy sources, like solar, for your community to reduce your footprint even more.
3. Explore Electric Vehicle Charging for the Biggest Impact
Driving an electric vehicle (EV) can cut your carbon footprint in half (or more) no matter where you live, and it also preserves local air quality by concentrating any emissions at power plants. This makes supporting EV adoption by installing EV charging one of the most important things that any HOA can do to reduce a community’s environmental impact. EV charging not only makes it more convenient for your residents to drive electric, but also increases property re-sale value, making this an investment that delivers both environmental and economic impact to your community. As more EV models become available, more people are choosing to drive electric, so make sure that EV charging is on the list of topics your board is addressing.
How is your HOA board enabling your community to reduce emissions and improve air quality? Tell us in the comments.