Changing the world one block at a time

The origins of environment degradation are often traced to the onset of the industrial revolution. The earliest industries had in position the rudiments of environment safety and health management. It is a recognized fact that the volume of heat, effluents and discharges that large industries can produce, is large enough to cause concern maybe even alarm. But it is not industry alone that can be blamed for environmental degradation.

Increased comfort level demanded by an exploding population, has also contributed in impacting the environment. Industry and the populace both consume disproportionate volumes of fossil fuels which are responsible for large carbon dioxide releases into the atmosphere. This increases the natural green house effects to cause what is now called global warming.

Excessive use of fossil fuels for locomotion, heating and myriads of other human activities generate sufficient visible and invisible pollutants in the environment. This has caused the governments and global bodies to release a range of measures and legislation to find means of pollution control. On the other hand methods that would bring into play energy alternatives to fossil fuels have been developed. Most of these measures amount to bolting the barn doors after the horses have bolted.

There are however means to control environmental degradation in a ground up manner. This involves conscious effort on part of people to deliberately reduce consumption of fossil fuels. This would mean evaluation your surroundings and putting into play small measures of control.

Exploring alternate energy sources is one of them. Hydroelectric, solar, wind and even tidal energy could replace fossil fuel. There is a financial implication to all alternate sources. Most of them are in early stages of development. Conservation of energy is another.

Conservation of energy can come through better construction of buildings that harness solar energy. Installing solar heating systems and provision of thermal insulation of homes other dwelling units. It would also entail a change in behavioral patterns. Working from home and telecommuting are other ways corporations use to conserve energy, also called reducing the carbon footprint. Conservation of energy reduces global warming.

Community level work can include finding sustainable sources of energy. Pilot project in this effort in small homesteads in Shropshire, have resulted in 5.8% or 3868 tons of carbon dioxide. This Low Carbon Community (LCC) became the basis for implementation of similar projects in east and west Midlands in UK. An indicator of what can be achieved through sustained efforts. It is a classic example of backyard to backyard neighborhood by neighborhood, one block at a time approach to sustainable development.

Development of alternates to mobility was another. Using a bicycle to the nearby store is better than driving there. Car pooling is far better than individual drives. Alternate energy vehicle ranging from bio-fuels to hybrids has been on for some time, but the costs of such vehicles are not encouraging as yet.

Communities suffer from over-illumination. Some retailers also claim that it enhances the shopping experience. In reality it is found that over illumination can contribute to headaches, stress and hypertension. So to start conservation at home, switch of the lights that you absolutely don’t need.

Barbara
 

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