Green Retirement Communities Are Sprouting
Next Avenue (08/10/15) Baker, Beth
Baby Boomers' strong interest in environmental sustainability is motivating retirement communities to offer amenities such as greener buildings, energy-efficient lighting, community gardens, and walkability. Although a recent New York Times article reports the supply of green retirement options has not kept pace with demand, some notable examples exist. Penswood Village in Newtown, Pa., has a LEED gold-certified assisted living building, a resident-initiated recycling program, a community garden, and an award-winning storm management system. The residents' Environmental Concerns Committee develops activities to encourage sustainable practices, such as reducing the use of plastic bags. There also is a growing movement to make cities "age friendly," and 28 U.S. municipalities have joined the World Health Organization's Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, providing more walkability, public transportation, and community gardens. Portland, Ore., for example, is bike and pedestrian friendly, with a light rail network, buses, and streetcars. The Green Building and Development Program helps residents and businesses achieve sustainability goals. It also has 30 farmers markets, and Soup Cycle, a service using bicycles to bring fresh, homemade meals to older people.