Green Residents Education Initiative Project
In 2011, around Earth Day, Block Multifamily Group (BMG) rolled out our Green Resident Education Initiative project. Our goals were to help:
- Save our residents money
- Save our clients money
- Enable healthy indoor environments
- Reduce environmental footprint of each property.
- Proprietary online carpool portal: This online forum connected the residents to one another with the primary goal of finding ride-share opportunities. If you carpool everyday your weekly gas expense can be cut in half!
- Energy Conservation: Providing residents with energy savings techniques could save 5%-7% on their cooling costs, as well as 10% on heating costs with simple thermometer setting changes. More savings can be seen with light bulb changes, removal of phantom energy uses, and reduction in hot water use. According to a CCIM article about going green, you can reduce energy consumption by:
- Making operational improvements
- Performing efficiency efforts
- Cleaning: An article by TLC, “10 Green Home Cleaning Tips”, stated using everyday products found around the house, can make your household cleaning task easier, save the environment and your wallet. We provided ideas for cleaning that used old home techniques such as vinegar and water. This cuts the costs of buying expensive cleaners over and over.
- Healthy indoor environment through reducing toxins: By reducing the chemicals used for cleaning and air freshening, homes can detoxify. Tactics for this included furniture cleaning and dusting with simple olive oil and vinegar mixtures, vinegar and water glass cleaning, and borax for water softening, deodorizing and as a bug repellent. These approaches were really appreciated by the families with young children.
- Water conservation: According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household can use 400 gallons of water every day, and, on average, approximately 70 percent of that water is used indoors. BMG educated residents on water saving practices such as reporting dripping faucets, turning off water while brushing and not running water while washing dishes. This client money saving angle works only for properties where the owner pays the gas. However, when it is coupled with an overall water reduction strategy much more savings can be seen. Such initiatives could include landscaping changes, sprinkler frequency alterations and even water submeter instillation.
Educating tenant and employees is an important strategy to add sustainability to any project. Our goals were achievable by just opening the eyes of our residents by using educational tools, like:
- Print marketing: Flyer's, posters, QR codes
- On Site workshops. This can function as a good community event and marketing tool.
VP/Director of Sustainability
Block Real Estate Services