Is living green important to you? For some, it’s just a trendy catchphrase. But it’s a purposeful way of life for those who seek to conserve energy and create an eco-friendly world for many.
In the simplest terms, living green means making lifestyle decisions and engaging in practices that reduce negative impact on and promote the health of the planet and its creatures. It’s about our children and our grandchildren, and the world we’ll leave them.
Today’s seniors are paying more attention to green practices. This includes searching for eco-friendly senior living communities.
Many traditional retirement communities don’t demonstrate much concern about sustainability. But forward-thinking, sustainable retirement communities are offering residents everything from greener buildings to energy-efficient lighting to community gardens.
Through construction choices, recycling programs, energy conservation methods and the use of alternative fuel sources, green senior living communities are getting on board this movement as a way to provide seniors with the type of living environment they desire.
As a potential resident, it can be a challenge to identify what qualifies as green. The language can be vague, and terms like “eco-friendly” are often tossed around with little evidence to back them up.
There is, however, one reliable standard: Look for the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification medal.
LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for verifying green building design, construction, operations and maintenance. It measures performance in six important categories:
- Site sustainability
- Indoor environmental quality
- Materials and resources
- Energy and atmosphere
- Water efficiency
- Innovation and design process
The benefits of green communities
Sustainable retirement communities with LEED certification use fewer natural resources and have a more positive environmental impact than those that aren’t LEED certified. The U.S. Green Building Council reports the average green building saves 30% to 90% on energy, carbon dioxide, water, and waste costs.
There are direct benefits for residents too. They enjoy a healthier home environment through improved indoor air quality. “Green” means paints, adhesives, sealants and finishes are low VOC (volatile organic compounds) so they don’t emit an odor and cause respiratory illness. The strict certification regulations often result in a more comfortable home due to fewer temperature variations.
Essex Meadows is green senior living
With the 1,000-acre forest of The Preserve abutting our campus and the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound just minutes away, Essex Meadows is surrounded by natural beauty. It’s a constant reminder of our responsibility to future generations.
For that reason, we’re committed to implementing sustainable, eco-friendly policies wherever we can. Our community features:
- Solar paneling for natural energy generation
- High-efficiency geothermal heating and cooling
- Irrigation using nonpotable water
- Low-flow plumbing for water preservation
- Eco-friendly laundry that reduces water use and chemicals
- Comprehensive recycling programs
- Purchasing locally grown food to reduce wasteful transport
- Naturalizing meadows for wildlife and reduced irrigation
We’re proud our efforts have earned LEED Gold certification. The benefits to local habitats and ecosystems are significant. Residents also enjoy the advantages of cost savings that come with efficient energy use. Eco senior living is a win-win relationship between our community and the world in which we live. Learn more here.