Senior living residents are beginning to see the value in living sustainably. 72% of seniors expect the companies they are involved with to be environmentally sustainable, and 85% of millennials require it.
By 2060, older adults 65 and older will make up 23% of the American population, a significant increase from their current status of 16%. With an estimated 95 million seniors working together to do their part to protect the environment and the things they put into it, they can make a considerable change.
As interest in sustainable living increases, green senior living communities are expected to grow in the United States. In 20 years, sustainable living will be the new norm.
Saving Money in the Long Run
Sustainability not only benefits the planet but also senior living communities’ wallets. Living sustainably is meant to reduce your usage of the Earth's resources. By lessening your impact on the Earth, you also lessen your spending.
Many hospitals and other healthcare providers are making the switch to LED light bulbs, saving one hospital nearly $3 million a year on lighting costs alone. Incorporating other green building principles could save communities 30% to 90% on carbon dioxide, water, energy, and waste costs.
Building design can also fall into sustainability practices that senior living communities can follow. Making use of natural light through carefully placed windows can lower electricity and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) costs.
What you put inside your buildings matters, too. Using furniture that is sustainable and made out of non-toxic materials lasts longer, giving you a higher quality for your money and a reduced risk of affecting residents who have respiratory illnesses. Featuring plants in your buildings means better air quality and a decrease in noise levels and overall stress.
How Sustainability Can Benefit Residents
Sustainable living is tied with many of the ideals that make up a healthy lifestyle. Sustainability advocates support more greenery around communities and more walking paths to reduce gas emissions from cars. This can benefit residents as it encourages them to go outside to walk around their community or among the town their community is. Community gardens are also an important sustainability practice for plant and animal biodiversity and improved air and soil quality. The gardens also motivate residents to eat healthier and get more physical activity.
As communities make the transition into sustainable and eco-friendly living, it will attract sustainably-minded residents. Your decision to make your community greener could be a differentiator from other senior living organizations.
Change starts with the individual. Residents do not have to wait for their community to start living more sustainably. They can start by making small changes to their routines: