By Dana Goldman, Commissioner
(September 29, 2020) – Combatting the effects of climate change will present the most significant scientific, political and socio-economic challenges of our time. The immediate and urgent impact of rising temperatures and extreme flooding events affect the health of residents and community sustainability. Whether you are a unit owner, board member or association counsel, you can make choices about consumption and daily habits.
Some environmental actions include having FPL or an energy consultant evaluate condominium energy usage. An energy study can provide valuable input for achieving efficiencies and energy savings, implementing upgrades and exploring new technologies. It is important to identify available areas on the condominium property and plant more trees for heat absorption. Newer condominium projects may feature landscaping, green roofs, rooftop community gardens, and vertical vines to mitigate the harsh effects of rising temperatures and “urban heat island” effect.
There are many small changes condominium associations and residents can make starting now. If your lawn maintenance provider uses herbicides with glyphosate, find an alternative; order eco-friendly cleaning supplies; reduce or eliminate staff single-use plastic usage; explore recycling options; and transition to a paperless office. Managing documents online, sending notices and newsletters electronically, and implementing electronic voting procedures eliminate unnecessary paper flow.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused transportation and industrial activity to reach record lows and pollution and greenhouse gas emissions to fall significantly. When the world economy finally rebounds, carbon and pollutant emissions are expected to rise again. These unprecedented times present an opportunity for us to reflect on our impact on climate change and take action to mitigate its harmful effects.