Building a sense of community is not something that can be forced or hurried, but will occur naturally as your neighbours find common interests. What you do personally or as a member of your executive committee can be a strong catalyst to start this natural process. Here are some simple actions you can take that can start a positive process.
- smile and say hi to neighbours as you come and go (if you have a lift it’s a great place to start)
- introduce yourself to them and say where you live (this can help with misdirected mail too!)
- find out who is on the executive committee on your building – seek them out and introduce yourself
- find out when executive meetings are being held and attend them (it is every owners right to attend executive committee meetings as an observer). It will educate you about the current and priority common property issues of your complex and the committee’s decision-making processes
- if the executive committee is committed to greening, encourage and support it, get on it if necessary to strengthen its commitment. If it is not, get on it and inspire a greater commitment.
- use the common notice board (or a web-based equivalent) to raise issues or find others interested in particular possibilities
- volunteer to research issues or be involved in working parties on communal issues, propose “go-green” working groups and find motivated people to join in
- write to the secretary of the owners corporation to raise issues or put well reasoned proposals
- ask the strata manager or executive committee to provide information on the total energy and water usage of the building and the usage attributable to major items of plant and equipment
- volunteer to start a facebook page, yahoo group or even a website (if you have the skills) for your complex - “seed” it with information and discussions on sustainability ideas
- expect that there will be disinterest or resistance from some owners – accept and work around it
You are not alone...