Importance of Building Sustainable Projects
Sustainability is important for environmental, social, and economic reasons. Sustainable planning and building is a difficult subject to pin down since it encompasses so many different things.
What Is Sustainable Development?
Sustainable development is an approach to development that considers the finite resources of the Earth and works to create a system that is "sustainable". This process is only sustainable if it can keep going indefinitely into the future.
Sustainability most commonly refers to the use of renewable energy resources and how we limit their use in our daily life.
It can mean creating sustainable agriculture or forestry practices.
Sustainability is also applied to create sustainable water and mineral use practices.
It applies to how we process and dispose of our waste.
Social sustainability takes into account the way we and our businesses impacts not just employees, but vendors, customers, and the local community.
Some of the points of interest when assessing our social sustainability include, social equity, community development involvement, social responsibility for supporting humanity, upholding human rights, and sustainability within these and other parameters.
Climate change is another issue that many believe can be partially addressed by employing sustainable practices. Sustainable practices would mandate a lower use of fossil fuels, which are not sustainable and produce greenhouse gases. According to current beliefs about climate change, this would reduce impact on the world climate and promote the health of our planet.
Biodiversity suffers through overconsumption and unsustainable development practices. Beyond the basic ethical quandary presented by this fact, there is the further concern that these species are a part of a food web that humans rely on. Agricultural practices impact biodiversity. Unsustainable agricultural practices have a devastating effect on the pollinator population around the world. Weakened bees and other pollinators from harmful pesticides and other agricultural pollutants become susceptible to diseases due to damaged immune systems.
Without bees, at least 19 major food crops would suffer.
Without bees, nearly 50% of the food in most grocery stores would be nonexistent.
Poor farming practices and urban development negatively impact the oceans with pollutants, which are home to a significant amount of algae species, such as kelp that humans rely on for a major portion of the oxygen they breathe
What Can You Do to Live More Sustainably?
Energy Conservation - An essential part of developing sustainable habits is conservation of energy sources and the use of renewable, clean energy. Making use of solar power, geothermal heating and cooling systems, and wind energy can significantly reduce our reliance on gas, coal, and other forms of energy. This requires community, business and government coordination. Yet, individually there are actions that you can take:
Insulate your existing or newly built environment better. This can reduce by up to 70%
When building your project select materials and ventilation systems that are the most energy efficient and enhances the natural air quality.
Orient your building to best use passive solar gain in winter and shade in hot seasons.
Arrange windows and doors and ceiling vents so your space has natural cross ventilation.
Walk or bike instead of using a car when possible (also good for your health).
Waste Reduction - According to Keep America Beautiful, Americans generate an estimated 251 million tons of waste every year. By purchasing products packaged with recycled materials, and then electing to recycle, reuse, or compost as much waste as possible, you can take a proactive approach to reducing waste. Communities can encourage recycling, employ strategies designed to convert waste to energy, and compost organic materials for many uses.