The detrimental effects of industrialization to the environment are being largely felt by today’s generation and its most evident manifestation can be felt in the environmental phenomenon known as global warming. Rising temperatures, the depletion of the earth’s natural resources, and the increasing effects of pollution to people’s health can all be attributed to industrialization. For far too long, humanity’s advancement has come at the expense of the environment, which is why there are dozens of campaigns and efforts, in the local, national, and global levels, to encourage everyone to opt towards a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle. Over the last decade, combined efforts have been made by both the public and private sector to increase public awareness over this phenomenon and as well as to encourage the use of renewable sources of energy to reduce the effects of greenhouse gasses on the environment. Going green is not only a more practical choice because at this point in time, it is the only choice that people have to preserve the environment for generations to come. Choosing a greener way of life may be quite pricey at the onset but it is the most sustainable option available.
More popularly known as sustainable architecture, green building has become the choice for many architects and homeowners these days. Building a house or any structure for that matter, already accounts for a large number of energy consumption in the world. A lot of countries have chosen to go green by setting up a common set of standards in the areas of design and construction. Pioneered by the United States, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which is a rating system used for green building has served as a guide for other countries. Under this rating system there are eight essential categories to consider and residential and commercial structures that abide by all these categories are given a certification by the United States Green Building Council. More and more states in the US and as well as other countries are enacting a green building legislation, especially for very large building and structures.
LEED has setup a total of eight categories to serve as criteria for green building, these include; design, location, site improvements, conservation of water, energy efficiency, sustainable and eco-friendly materials, environment, and maintenance. Structures, both residential and commercial, are encouraged to use these categories as a general guide for building. In Washington, all public buildings that are more than 5,000 feet in size are required to follow the aforementioned standards for sustainable architecture. Other countries have also followed suit including but not limited to: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.
There are many advantages to going green, the most evident of which would be on the environment. Aside from combating the effects of global warming, green building would also save individuals so much money on energy and water consumption. Using alternative sources of energy such as solar power, wind energy and, geothermal energy can significantly lessen the community’s dependence on power plants to generate electricity and would thereby lessen the harmful effects of fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses on the environment.
Each person has the ability to make a massive difference and alter the state by which the environment is headed at this point in time, and coming up with unique ideas can make a huge difference. Working at home is a trending option for some professionals, for example direct selling companies have included many more eco friendly businesses recently with the push towards a more eco friendly lifestyle. Another example is having your home built using the principles of sustainable architecture which can lessen your household's including your own negative effects on the environment.
Green living does not only involve green architecture, as other efforts towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle are being enforced in many aspects of everyday living. The use of eco-friendly materials for packaging has long been enforced in many countries. Automotive companies have also taken part in the global campaign to opt for sustainable sources of energy and a lot of companies have replaced internal combustion engines, which are conventionally used for cars. Thousands of hybrid cars have been released in the market and more efforts are being contributed to reduce the costs of such vehicles to enable everyone to eventually run their cars without the use of fuel. Hybrid cars come in the form of electric-powered vehicles, hydrogen cell vehicles, battery electric vehicles, and neat ethanol vehicles, among others.
Going green should not just be a government campaign, as it should be practiced by all individuals to the fullest extent that they can. While green building, and hybrid cars can certainly cost a lot of money, it is an investment worth making for the future of the environment and of humanity. In the long run, going green would save you more money than sticking to conventional sources of energy and methods of architecture. While renewable sources of energy may prove to be unreliable at times and poses significant problems when it comes to power generation, advanced research in these fields would, no doubt, polish out these problems. In the meantime, supporting these causes through your individual efforts can certainly help a great deal in helping the whole world go green.
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