Some 68 percent of boomers and Gen-Xers have changed how they behave to help protect the planet, says a recent Forbes survey. Now, there’s a growing trend toward residential communities for our Tribe who are eco friendly. They help us plug in via alternative energy sources, rely less on cars, cultivate organic produce, and otherwise take a planet-friendly approach.
Eco Friendly Communities: Good for the Environment and Our Pocketbook
Forget automobile-dependent retirement residences with massive golf courses that waste water and rely on synthetic fertilizers.
Green communities for our demographic are being built following sustainable construction practices, and conservation is key, through the installation of Energy Star appliances, LED lighting, and the like—which has the nice bonus of lower utility bills. Think neighborhoods with smaller individual homes, larger communal resources, and co-housing options; forget automobile-dependent retirement residences with massive golf courses that waste water and rely on synthetic fertilizers.
Consider the co-housing community EcoVillage in Ithaca, New York, which caught on to this “newfangled” environmental movement some 27 years ago and just keeps evolving. Its newer abodes, built following a “passive house” system, are among the most energy-efficient in the country. Some of its solar-powered structures actually produce more energy than they use.
Eco Villages: The Perfect Place for Retirement
While earth-conscious Edens can be found nationwide, many are located in the same warm, sunny climes that already draw retirees. A review of the best green communities cited four in Arizona, three in Florida, and one in California.
“We have a large area to grow food, and we bought battery-powered, rather than gas-powered, lawn mowers that we all share. Even the communal detergent in our laundry rooms is free of harmful chemicals,” says Dawn Montanye, 51, an EcoVillage resident since 2015 who was drawn to the place as much for its collaborative living practices as its green mission.
“Here, everyone is interested in the environmental impact of our decisions. I love living with a group of people who share the same values—you don’t have to explain or justify your choices.”
You mean we can retire to a place where everyone properly sorts their recycling and we won’t get weird looks for starting a compost pile in the front yard? We’re there.