Environmentally Friendly Senior Housing
The new group of senior citizens is very eco-aware, much more than ever before. Therefore the call for green retirement planning is more popular than ever. Unfortunately, searches for green retirement communities generally only turn up developments that might have “green” in their name but are not green at all. Here are some tips to weed out the retirement communities that advertise as eco-sensitive but are not delivering true sustainability or green strategies.
If you are seeking a green community that is not age segregated you might want to consider an alternative form of community. One place to start is the Co-Housing Association of the United States. Co-housing is a growing movement, imported from Europe, in which members own their own homes but share some elements (such as a large community building, major tools and other large expensive items) in common. Sustainability is a central concern, starting with the footprint the development leaves on the environment. The use of renewable energy and water management methods are common. By clustering homes together facing a common play/garden area neighbors see one another every day. This ensures that older residents don’t feel isolated, and stay functional and vibrant.
Be careful of communities that talk about protecting natural resources, environmental quality, and biodiversity, that are just a marketing ploy. A green standard has been developed for private homes, and is in its pilot phase, while the commercial green standard has been implemented nationwide. If there are communal buildings in the development you are investigating, see if those meet the LEED certification standards. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
There are excellent green retirement communities. A little research will ensure a quality lifestyle that you can enjoy for many years.