Climate change is affecting species, ecosystems, and livelihoods in far-reaching ways. Frequent wildlfires, rising sea levels, and long periods of drought are happening in all parts of the world. The World Health Organization reports that climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050. By 2030, its direct damage costs to health is estimated to be between USD 2-4 billion per year.
More people are turning to sustainable practices to battle climate change. States such as Oregon and California have implemented policies to encourage a greener society. If you wish to incorporate sustainability into the design of your neighborhood, town, or city, take note of these practical ways to achieve an eco-friendly space.
Build energy-efficient infrastructures
It’s important to implement energy-efficient strategies at the onset of community development. According to a building commissioning firm in Portland, a comprehensive energy assessment should be conducted before any fixes or renovations are made to save time and money. Policies and ordinances should also be regulated to encourage installation of energy conservation tools such as solar panels and geothermal heating systems. These alternatives can help reduce the negative impacts of fossil fuel on human health and air quality. Communities should also explore the potential of using the groundwater system and wastewater treatment plant for district heating and cooling.
Learn waste reduction
If every citizen practices reducing, reusing, and recycling waste, imagine the huge decrease in emissions, pollution, and contamination. Proper waste management also reduces the amount of garbage that goes to landfill.
Dedicated bins and storage spaces should be generously provided within the community. These containers should be accessible to everyone and be situated near waste collection areas. Bins should be properly labeled to accommodate different kinds of rubbish from biodegradable to hazardous waste. Onsite composting of food and garden waste should also be a common practice among occupants.
Develop more public spaces
Green urban spaces such as parks and gardens not only beautify the community but also foster safe habits for wildlife. They also promote healthy and active lifestyles by stimulating physical activity and social interaction. The trees and vegetation can dampen ambient noise, promote cooler temperatures, and restore clean air.
Invest in eco-friendly transportation
Investing in eco-friendly modes of transportation greatly reduces emissions and pollution. Riding a bicycle decreases the production of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Building sidewalks to encourage foot traffic also puts zero pressure on the environment compared to driving a natural combustion vehicle fueled by petrol or diesel.
Recent technology has allowed the manufacture of electric vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, boats, and scooters. Electric vehicles do not emit any dangerous gasses and can operate on alternative fuels such as solar power and wind turbines.
Combating climate change starts in one’s community. For a sustainable community to thrive, every citizen needs to do their part in embracing eco-friendly solutions. Governments and local authorities should initiate policies that promote greener living. With the right behavior and mindset, we can mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure a better future for everyone.