How to Create Sustainability in Your Urban Community
Many individuals view cities as high pollution regions. Though few individuals own cars in saturated urban areas, like New York City, emissions exceed rural areas. Fortunately, adopting a sustainable lifestyle can prevent and filter pollution, limiting environmental degradation.
Individual alterations may make a small impact, and when a community works together, they can achieve significant sustainable changes. Before evaluating green lifestyle practices, and discussing how to create sustainability in your urban community, let’s examine urban regions’ structural limitations.
City residents typically live in apartments or shared structures. Communal living quarters limit individuals’ ability to renovate their buildings with ease or install major sustainability systems.
Additionally, changing your energy source is challenging. Many cities fuel their electricity production through fossil fuel combustion, generating greenhouse gas emissions. High air pollution production rates cause adverse environmental and human health effects.
Earth uses a natural temperature control process, reliant on the atmosphere’s organic composition. When solar radiation reaches the planet, it generates heat, warms the surface, reabsorbs extra energy and emits it to space. The process maintains life-sufficient temperatures on Earth.
When greenhouse gases pollute the atmosphere, it alters its composition and the process. The gases have a higher sunlight-to-heat conversion rate and contain excess energy on Earth for extended periods. The overproduction and entrapment of heat raise the global temperature over time.
Fortunately, there are ways residents can alter their living conditions, aligning them with eco-conscious values.
Smart Appliance Installation
You can improve the energy efficiency of your living space by installing smart appliances. Smart power strips reduce the amount of electrical waste generated by fully charged devices. If you charge your computer, phone or other wireless gadgets overnight, they can absorb more power than is necessary.
The smart power strips connect to your wall outlet and detect when your device reaches a full charge. Rather than continuously feeding electricity into the gadget, it restricts the flow of energy. Limiting your power use can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Residents can make a greater impact by asking their building owners to install smart thermostats in each apartment. Smart thermostats use a WiFi connection, reading local weather forecasts and adjusting the indoor temperature to conserve energy. They also utilize motion detection sensors, turning a system off or on, depending on the apartment’s vacancy. This is a simple, but smart, way to create sustainability in your home and community.
Adopting a plant-based diet can reduce your environmental impact. The production of meat, especially beef, emits high quantities of the greenhouse gas – methane. A low or no meat diet can preserve the quality of the atmosphere and human health.
In 2019, the vegan meat alternative industry accumulated $939 million in profits. An increase in plant-based options allows residents to consume a low-emission diet at home or in restaurants. You can promote sustainable eating in your community by voting with your dollars.
Support local markets and eateries offering sustainable, plant-based alternatives. Over time, surrounding distributors must adopt vegan options, meeting eco-consumer demands.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Another way to create sustainability into your community is by reducing your consumption, reusing materials when possible and recycling. If your neighborhood only offers conventional garbage collection, you can reach out to the state and incorporate your region in the recycling pickup route. The service requires a small monthly fee that helps residents make the most out of their investment.
Recycling is an effective method for reducing waste, and it is the last term in the eco-conscious phrase. It is essential to reduce your waste generation and reuse materials before placing them in the blue bin. Recycling should be a resident’s last effort of sustainable disposal.
Cities have limited green spaces, enhancing the pollution problem. A single tree can filter 48 pounds of greenhouse gases annually. Expanding urban vegetation is essential when preserving the atmosphere.
Cool roofs convert conventional city rooftops into gardens. Planting trees and bushes on top of buildings can filter surface emissions before they reach the atmosphere. The gardens additionally insulate a structure, reducing the amount of energy used by heating and cooling systems.
Be a Community Leader
Instilling change at the community level is challenging, and leading by example can help. Talk to your local government officials and building owners about increasing eco-conscious regulations. Do what you can to promote and support having a walkable community. You may additionally reach out to your peers, helping them understand the ecological effects of their daily actions and how they can help create sustainability in an urban community.
Author Bio: Jane Marsh works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co.