There are a lot of people who try to be a steward of the environment. Some do it by using shopping bags, metal straws, no-packaging hygiene products, or a bike to go to places. Even if it’s not much, collectively, it makes a difference.
Not only is it an individual effort, but there are also communities doing their part in protecting the environment. Our sunshine state has several green communities that try to reduce carbon footprints and provide a sustainable living for its residents. They also work hard to maintain and preserve our beautiful beaches, nature reserves, and parks for future generations.
These communities have solar-powered houses, eco-friendly amenities, and promote a healthy lifestyle. Aside from its environment and health advantages, some communities offer a lower cost of living. If you want to know where it is, here are four environmentally-friendly communities in Florida.
Babcock Ranch is the first largest planned green community that is fully-powered by sustainable energy in the United States. It opened back in 2016 during Earth Day and it is located near Fort Myers, southwest of Florida. The whole ranch spans for 74,000 acres but only 18,000 acres were developed into a city.
This community is designed and constructed to run on solar energy and use clean technology. It has nature reserves and dedicated spaces to protect landscapes. Not only does it protect the environment, but it also promotes the well-being of the residents. There are hiking trails, fitness facilities, and medical care available to everyone. You will also find a communal herb and vegetable garden to help residents easily source healthy food.
Babcock Ranch is also a self-contained solar city which is powered by a solar power plant. They have installed more than 340,000 solar panels on residential homes, commercial rooftops, and placed the rest on a 440-acre space. The facility that runs this is operated and owned by their partner, Florida Power & Light. They recently added storage batteries to store power and act as a generator. Residents will also be able to monitor and control their power consumption using the built-in smart network. They even have solar trees around the community for recharging devices such as laptops and smartphones.
Aside from electricity, they also utilize their water properly. Ninety percent of their water is reused or recaptured. They also use retreated or reclaimed water for their wetlands and groundwater tables.
Green Key Village
Green Key Village is a planned green community found in Lady Lake, Central Florida. It contains 148 homes that are solar-powered and eco-friendly. Not only is the electricity made out of clean and renewable energy, but it also lowers the resident’s power bill or even offers zero energy bills. The house was designed to be energy efficient, allowing residents to have little to no annual energy bills. For one example, the garage is separated and has its own exhaust to avoid radiated heat from entering the home.
Each home also comes with a solar panel on the roof so no one would be hogging anyone’s power supply. These can be customized to be tailor to the needs of each resident. The house itself is also built with healthy construction practices, non-toxic materials, environmentally-friendly water fixtures, and filled with ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances. Not only does it benefit the environment and one’s wallet, but its high-quality indoor environment is also good for their health.
The community also promotes a healthy lifestyle. To help save on groceries, they have a communal garden filled with vegetables and fauna. For their amenities, they have a community pool, one-half basketball court, picket ball court, tennis court, and more to help residents maintain their health.
It may not have commercial shops and other necessary facilities, but schools, fitness facilities, shops, theme parks, and beaches are all within a short drive from the community.
Lakewood Ranch is the best-selling multi-gen planned green community in the United States. It is located in Tampa Bay, close to the southwest coast of Florida. The powder-white Gulf Coast beaches are just a few-minute drive from this community.
This ranch spans for 31,000 acres and has been open for 25 years. There are more than 12,000 residential places, but it only occupies two-thirds of the land as the rest are reserved for natural habitats, preserves, and outdoor recreation. There are 150 miles of trails, lakes, golf courses, 18 tennis courts, and other sports facilities for cricket and polo, which gives residents plenty of options for their outdoor activities.
The residents will also never be bored since it has sports clubs, ten shopping districts, and restaurants. Sometimes, there are also music festivals and other planned events. Residents may also opt not to drive out to bring their kids to school as the community offers eight public schools, two private schools, fourteen preschools, and seven advanced education campuses.
To maintain their green status, homes are reviewed and certified by a third party. Each house should match the standard for green compliance. They check how the use their energy, water resources, and if they do their part in preserving the environment.
Granada Park is a small green community located in Sarasota. It contains 25 homes and covers four acres. This real estate location was developed by MGB Fine Custom Homes, who are homebuilders that prioritize sustainability and quality. The community was based on the design ‘cluster housing’ where they have maximized the space for the residential homes to allow more functional and desirable common areas. Currently, the gated community comes with a communal pool, a park, and a lake.
This seaside community has a residential area filled with coastal-style homes that are built with environmentally-friendly and recycled materials. Each home also contains energy-efficient appliances and water-efficient fixtures. Aside from energy and cost-efficiency, all the houses are a Smart home and have technological features built into the foundation.
The community is also designed to promote walking to reduce the pollution caused by vehicles. There might not be a lot inside, but this real estate location is near shopping districts, restaurants, and other lifestyle amenities.