The purpose of any eco-friendly or green community is twofold: to benefit the planet and to benefit the community’s residents. Anyone who sets up or moves to a green community is looking in part for a better quality of life, and there are also other material incentives. Not only does setting up home in an eco-friendly neighbourhood generally reduce your living costs, but it also adds to the value of your property. In short, buying in an eco-friendly area is an extremely sound investment in many different ways.
What defines an eco-friendly community?
There are many factors that go towards making a community eco-friendly, and, of course, some may be more eco-friendly than others while still being broadly green. Generally, an eco-friendly neighbourhood will attempt to collectively reduce its carbon footprint. It should have minimal levels of pollution and practise maximal levels of recycling. There will be copious green spaces, and sustainable materials will be used for any new builds. Green transport options, from walking to electric vehicles, will also be encouraged.
Better quality of living
The most immediate advantage of owning property in an eco-friendly neighbourhood should be a better quality of life. These are generally safe, peaceful neighbourhoods with excellent air quality and abundant greenery and nature. This lowers stress levels, meaning that people are friendly and there is a marked reduction in aggressive crime and anti-social behaviour. It’s easy to get exercise and to eat healthily, as locally grown organic vegetables are often available for less than the cost in a city centre store.
You should be able to get about an eco-friendly community easily on foot, with cycle paths to help you travel longer distances by bicycle. While these neighbourhoods often actively discourage ownership of a conventional petrol or diesel-fuelled car, they are more likely to have a convenient EV charger, Devon, for example, has a number of these, for your electric car. Although electric cars currently cost slightly more to buy upfront, they are cheaper to run in terms of fuel and maintenance. You will also be future-proofing yourself against upcoming regulations, making traditional cars increasingly less welcome.
Lower energy bills
One of the main advantages of owning eco-friendly property is that your utility bills are immediately reduced. Better insulation means greater energy efficiency, which means that you don’t have to pay for as much power. You should also find that you’re using less water, which on a metered supply will also allow you to reduce those bills.
If your house has solar panels or other means of generating its own electricity, then you may be able to live off grid, giving you more independence and greater choice as to how you use your energy. You might even generate a surplus, which you can sell on to other users.
Improved resale value
For all the reasons mentioned above, eco-friendly houses are in great demand. If they are part of a wider green community, then they are likely to be even more sought after. As time goes on, the demand for environmentally friendly and energy-efficient properties will only grow, making the green credentials of your home a major selling point if or when you decide to put it on the market. Eco-friendly houses are worth far more than less-efficient properties.
Great for children
There’s no better place to bring up children than an eco-friendly community. As well as being safe and healthy, such communities provide a great opportunity to learn skills and community values. From mucking in on communal allotments to studying nature and learning about gardening or sustainable construction, growing up in an eco-community lets children find their place in the world of tomorrow.
Giving something back
Perhaps most importantly, buying into an eco-friendly community lets you feel that you are giving something back. While you are undoubtedly reaping many benefits for yourself, you are doing so in a way that doesn’t damage the planet we live on or impinge upon the wellbeing of others. As well as investing in property that will definitely increase in value, you are also investing in future generations and the natural world.
Eco-friendly neighbourhoods will gradually become the norm rather than the exception as more people see the advantages of living this way. Government regulations designed to reduce national carbon emissions will also push development in this direction, most likely with the encouragement of tax breaks and other financial incentives. If you’re considering such a move, then there’s never been a better time to do so.