Many people throughout the Carolinas are making an effort to incorporate "Green" ideas into their daily living. Yet, for those of us who live in neighborhoods with Home Owner's Associations, being "green" can sometimes cause problems!
Energy-saving ideas such as using clotheslines, solar panels, and replacing our grass lawns with rocks and drought resistant plants are generally frowned upon in most of the covenants used by local HOAs.
So what is an environmentally-conscientious homeowner to do? The short answer is to be familiar with all of the rules and regulations that your HOA has. Know that many of these rules are standard and handed down by the builder when the neighborhood was built. Many of these are very old ways of thinking and your Home Owner's Association has the power to change these with community support.
If there is a neighborhood policy that you think is worthy of change, you are probably not the only one. The Association is made up of your neighbors and could include YOU. So get involved, rally the other "green" folks and think about what you can do to be good homeowners and environmentalists.
Ultimately, HOAs exist to protect the rights and property values of the members of the neighborhood. If you can present an argument that is accepted by the majority of the voting neighbors, you can get a covenant changed.