Living Green with Hornig Companies
April showers bring May flowers and lots of green grass, bushes and leaves along the way. We also celebrate Earth Day in April. This year Earth Day is on April 22, 2021. So, April seemed like the perfect month to share a little bit about Hornig Companies “living green” initiatives and provide some tips for residents who want to live a “greener” lifestyle.
Congratulations! You have already taken the first step. Apartment living is about as green as it gets!
Hornig Companies initiatives:
1. Paperless – Hornig Companies is constantly working to eliminate as much paper as we possibly can in our daily business process. Through investments in technology, you can now apply, sign your lease, pay your rent, enter a work order and get a copy of your lease through the resident portal on our website. This saves you time and reduces the need for passing paper back and forth. We also send resident notices electronically to avoid printing and hand-delivering notices to each door. This allows us to reach you wherever you are while reducing trips and reams of paper!
2. Solar panels – Over the past two years, we invested in solar panels in five buildings in Minneapolis to off-set building energy. We will do our first suburban building in 2021. Each solar array consists of approximately one hundred 385 watt panels and one 33.3 kW inverter producing 50,000 kWh/year. A typical array will offset more than 50,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.
3. Recycle – Many cities have now mandated recycling in multifamily buildings. We say bravo! Hornig Companies has proudly offered single-stream recycling at our buildings for over 10 years.
4. Multi-modal transport – Hornig Companies continues to make investments in bike rooms, bike racks and other bike storage options. For our urban properties, we also offered shared parking opportunities to reduce the amount of parking needed for any particular building. For many years, we hosted an HOUR CAR at our Belmont property in Uptown, which has been moved down the street to the Wedge Coop. As a general rule, we offer properties in prime locations, which comes hand in hand with access to transit. Don’t forget to ask what bus, BRT and LRT lines serve your home!
5. Energy star buildings – For our largest properties, we do annual benchmarking based on utility consumption. Given the age of our buildings, we are proud to report that four of our largest properties met the EPA’s benchmark standards for Energy Star Certification in 2019. Furthermore, we are continually looking for ways to reduce our energy usage at properties of all sizes. Currently, we are in the process of investing in LED interior and exterior lighting upgrades to improve light quality, while reducing usage across our portfolio.
1. Swap out light bulbs – Reduce your wattage by switching to LED bulbs. Look for coupons and promotions on bulbs and make the switch. Use less energy, reduce your bill and change your bulbs less often. A win-win-win!
2. Add plants – We have said it before and we will say it again: plants are an apartment dwellers best friend. They improve air quality, add style and can even reduce your grocery bill. Windowsill herb garden, anyone?
3. Clean green – Switch out harsh cleaners for simple household ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. If home chemistry isn’t your thing, try non-toxic cleaning alternatives. We love local company Mrs. Meyer’s green cleaning products!
4. Follow the sun – Solar gain can help you keep your apartment warm and cool – depending the season. In the winter, open blinds to allow the sun’s rays to naturally warm your home. Remember not to open windows during freezing outside temps which can result in burst pipes and flooded apartments. Ugh!!!! In the summer, close shades during the heat of the day. Combined with turning AC up and heat down when you leave, you can cut your energy bill without sacrificing comfort.
5. Unplug – Unplug appliances and chargers when not in use. Anything that is plugged in is drawing electricity whether it’s on or not. Considering adding a power strip that allows you to easily plug and unplug your devices when not in use.
Join us in our living green initiatives. We welcome you to post energy saving and green initiatives that work for you in our blog comment section below. Thank you!