How to Go Green With Your Building

How to Go Green with Your Building by Woodard Cleaning & Restoration in St. Louis, Mo.

When it comes to greening your building, it seems like there are endless perks to take into account. Eco-friendliness aside, making the transition to a green facility saves a great deal of money, shows your residents that you care about their well-being, and, since you’re able to advertise your space as “green” and “eco-friendly” it greatly enhances the marketability of your building. Going green is a win-win for everyone – but how can you make the switch? We've got the answers right here! Read on to discover 10 simple ways to how to go green with your building.

1. Provide Ample Recycling & Composting Solutions

Don’t just encourage your residents to recycle and compost – make it easy for them to do so by strategically place recycling and yard waste bins around your facility. Another fun way to encourage your residents to embrace a green way of living is to motivate them: why not offer your eco-friendly residents a discount for recycling or composting every month? We’re betting they’ll be all about it if you knock a few bucks of their rent!

2. Encourage a Green Thumb

Sure, living in an apartment comes with a great deal of convenience perks, but renters also miss out on some great perks of homeownership – like the ability to garden and grow their own vegetables and flowers. Why not designate a gardening space for your residents, and allow them to use the space for growing their favorite foods and flowers. Not only does this promote a sustainable attitude, but it sets your building apart from the others, because you’ve got that extra touch of “home” that other facilities in your area lack.

3. Remodel with Green & Non-Toxic Materials

When sprucing up your building, stay away from harmful cleaning agents and toxic paints. Instead, freshen up your walls with non-toxic and non-VOC paints, replace flooring materials with formaldehyde-free carpeting, and build additions with reclaimed materials from sustainable businesses.

4. Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Materials

When searching for a professional cleaning company to maintain your building, narrow down your search by only considering those who use green cleaning products. Not only are these products non-toxic and eco-friendly, but they’re safe for your residents, including kids and pets.

Safety aside, let’s talk dollars and cents – we know you've probably heard that green cleaning companies are more costly than cleaning companies who use toxic products, right? We’re delighted to debunk that myth! Green cleaning companies use all-natural products to clean and deodorize, and often make the solutions themselves, which means they don’t have to pay those high distributor prices – and neither do you! Plus, all-natural cleaning products never damage your facility, while harsh cleaning agents can eat away at paint and stain carpeting. For saving money, saving the environment, and better breathing, green cleaning companies just make sense.

5. Provide Public Transportation Solutions

Gas prices are astronomical – it’s no secret. Surely your residents are looking for a way to cut down on the amount of time (and money) they spend at the pump, right? Why not connect commuting residents with their neighbors? Simply establish a sign-up sheet in your leasing office, near community mailboxes, or other central locations, for residents seeking to join a carpool. In addition to a carpooling sign-up sheet, you can also provide ample resources and information about local public transportation solutions.

6. Work with Locally-Owned & Family-Operated Businesses

In addition to being more expensive and less sustainable, franchises often lack personalized service and the ability to customize your needs. When it comes to servicing your building, consider working with family-operated and locally-owned businesses. Your residents will appreciate the fact that you’re supporting local businesses, local businesses will hold your operation in high-regard, and you’ll reap all the benefits.

7. Recycle Old Appliances

In St. Louis, The Midwest Recycling Center (MRC) provides FREE appliance recycling services and bulk appliance pick-up services, as certificates of recycling and/or destruction for all local business. Check out MRC’s website, or call 636.223.0150 for more information.

8. Weatherproof Windows & Doors

In addition to preventing leaks and water damage, weatherproofing your windows and doors is a great way to save on heating and cooling costs. There are several ways to weatherproof these areas, including:

  • Window Caulking & Weather-Stripping
  • Energy-Efficient Window Installation
  • Outdoor Pipe Wrapping
  • Exterior Door Weather-Stripping
  • Attic, Wall & Crawlspace Insulation

9. Light the Way with CFL Bulbs

Not only do CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) last about 10 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs, but they use 75% less energy! Yep, you read that right – you’ll enjoy a ridiculously affordable electric bill because each bulb saves about $30 in energy costs. To notice immediate savings, light up common areas, like hallways, laundry rooms, and entryways, with CFL bulbs, and consider installing timers on light bulbs in those same common areas.

10. Be Water Wise

Often times, property managers hear “go green” and only think of ways to reduce energy use. However, when it comes to going green, don’t underestimate the impact of water use. To make a big difference, and a big environmental impact, try out these techniques:

  • Equip Bathroom & Kitchen Faucets with Low-Flow Aerators
  • Install Low-Flow Shower Heads & Toilets
  • Install ENERGY STAR Washing Machines
  • Quickly Repair Leaks
  • Replace Ornamental Landscaping with Native Plants
  • Water Lawns with Recycled Water from Rain Barrels