- Category: Living Green
07 Mar 2013
- Published on Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:18
- Hits (4015)
In a world racked with growing energy problems and depleting natural resources, being able to have the option of retiring with less of an environmental impact is an important option available to all older folks today.
Having the ability to live out the best years of life in an eco-friendly manner can be a good way to create a more sustainable future for grandkids and society as a whole. It’s the most responsible way to retire, and it’s made possible by the emergence of green living and eco-friendly trends in assisted living facilities around the nation.
Top Trends in Eco-Friendly Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living communities are mainly concerned with creating an environment where older residents can live out their remaining years in peaceful serenity, surrounded by a sense of family and support. It’s this convenient and relatively stress-free lifestyle that retired individuals look for when considering assisted living facilities. Fortunately, there are several growing trends in assisted living facilities that also make it possible to also live a green lifestyle with ease.
Today, more assisted living communities are being built with sustainability in mind. From the planning of each facility’s location and its impact on natural surroundings to the actual building materials and techniques used, an eco-friendly assisted living building program is environmentally responsible. These facilities are rated higher in terms of green a building practices, which also means they are more energy efficient. In the long-term, choosing an eco-friendly assisted living facility makes good sense for both the environment and the costs of living independently during retirement.
Retirees who are looking for the opportunity to give back to the earth also have the choice of residing at an assisted living facility that operates as a modern-style commune. By participating in various gardening, recycling, and other earth-improving activities, they remain active in a community in which they live and work. Gardening produce can be shared equally among residents and distributed to local community food banks, which provides a sustainable food source for those in need. This can be a great way for older folks to stay actively connected to the earth, build lasting relationships with others, and provide healthful living for all.
Another key aspect of green assisted living facilities is the inclusion of eco-efficient technology that monitors energy use and waste in all areas. Using these technologies, in-unit energy use, such as water, heat, air conditioning and electricity, can be balanced out and costs are dramatically lower than other kinds of assisted living buildings. Likewise, outdoor lighting and water use are carefully monitored to reduce waste. The increased addition of more solar and wind powered energy sources gives residents access to all the comforts of life without interruption that frequently occurs with standard energy utilities.
In many green living communities for retirees, there is a rise in the use of hybrid and alternative fuel cell vehicles for a variety of transportation needs. Residents are encouraged to walk or use the convenience of bicycles for short trips or social events. Additionally, residents who are mobility challenged or need a ride to local communities for medical or personal reasons may take advantage of public transportation that takes advantage of special hybrid technology. Another trend that offers greener options in transportation includes reducing carbon emissions by providing on-demand access to a shared fleet of energy-efficient vehicles, which are perfect for running errands or sightseeing adventures.
Locating the Best Eco-friendly Assisted Living Community
If you are searching for a green retirement lifestyle for yourself or a loved one, there are several ways to find the best facility that provides assisted living options. First, take the time to visit the Assisted Living Federation of America(A.L.F.A.) which has website resources geared towards educating consumers about the benefits of green retirement living. In fact, a recent announcement of A.L.F.A. included a partnership with Energy Star, which is the leading government supported program that helps communities do their part to protect the earth and the environment through energy efficient products and services in the United States. When reviewing the assisted living facilities endorsed by A.L.F.A., you’ll likely tap into a list of those who meet the strict eco-housing standards of this program.
Also, when visiting assisted living communities in person, take the time to note the use of highly rated Energy Star appliances and comfort systems, as well as earth friendly living essentials that are provided to residents. Ask what their policy is on green living and what steps they are taking to educate and support residents who want to give back to the earth as part of their normal daily routines. Locate the on-site recycling center, and find out if there is alternative-hybrid fuel cell public transportation available to residents.
Remember to get as much information as possible while visiting potential assisted living facilities because this will help you to select the best green living arrangement possible. In this way, you can do your part to protect the environment for future generations.
Julia Dennis writes about Eco Friendly Assisted living facilities and other assisted living topics for Friendship Village.