Naning Adiwoso, Savitra P Shaumy R
With the advent of technology and increase in use of natural resources there a lot of problems that the earth is facing today. Today there are a lot of issues which need our attention immediately. Some of the major issues are global warming and hole in the ozone layer.
Today if we were to think of a world without vehicles, electricity and a lot such facilities we would be feared. But in order to help Mother Nature it is time for us to act and act quickly.
One would say how we can help our earth and what should we do. A few of the simple steps recommended in this article can be followed by all of us in our day to day life to show your love towards earth.
But first we need to understand what the threats are which we are aiming to eliminate. Global warming means the increase in temperature of the atmosphere on earth. This increase in temperature is due to deforestation and many other reasons. The hole in ozone layer is the depletion of the ozone layer and reduction in its thickness. This hole in ozone layer is increasing due to increase in emissions of gases like carbon dioxide, CFC and other gases
In order to curb deforestation we need to plant more trees and encourage increasing the forest areas in our locality. But as we need more and more space for development simple steps like planting of saplings in our gardens and house can help. Hence we can contribute a bit from our side to reduce deforestation and hence curb global warming.
Toxic gases which affect the ozone layer are mainly emitted from appliances. In order to reduce emission of these toxic gases we can try and find out alternate appliances which emit less toxic gases. Some suggestions are as follows: We can stop using the old refrigerators which emit a lot of CFC and start using the new ones which are CFC free and do not emit CFC at all. We can also start reducing the usage of air conditioners and heaters. If reducing the usage is not possible then we can at least change the settings and temperature that is set in order to ensure less consumption of electricity and less emission of gases like CFC. This also helps in reducing global warming.
In order to conserve the natural resources we can start avoiding usage of vehicles for a short distance trips. Instead prefer public transport or use bicycles. By doing this we show that we love our earth. Start using other energy options where possible like, start using solar energy for your water heaters and other electronic appliances instead of electricity. This will reduce the consumption of coal which is needed for generation of electricity. Reduction in use of coal results in less emission of gases when coal is burnt. As a result global warming is reduced.
Just following these steps is not sufficient. We need to educate our friends, relatives and our neighbours about these steps. We also need to try and convince them to follow these steps. In order to justify our idea we may need help of reasoning as to why should we start following these steps. A few of the justification which can be used by you are as follows: Educate them about dangers of U.V rays affecting their skin if ozone layer is not present. For those who love being healthy, inform them about how they will be healthy if they use a bicycle for transportation and they will save time by avoiding separate work out session. For those who love saving money, tell them about how they can save their money by using solar energy which is absolutely free and safe to use instead of electricity.
Most people in entire world have different definition about Green. That is “a high performing live style that’s use energy and water efficient approaching, has a good indoor air quality when use the place, uses environmentally sustainable materials when build something and also uses all the things related to building or site in a sustainable manner”.
Now after became a family member of Green Building Council Indonesia, l understood the definition of green building, let’s take a closer look at a few elements which will comprise the term green building. There were different degrees of green building that offer some challenges as well. For instance, green building in a remodel condition would differ from a newly constructed home. Depending on what part of the construction process is being discussed we will have many opportunities to implement the green factor. From new building materials to new innovative methods, we can save money and make building healthier to build and occupy.
Here’s a guide to understanding a few key terms, so I can investigate whether or not a potential home/building is truly eco-friendly.
1. Insulation and Building:
Many new buildings are being insulated with recycled materials. Proper insulation now goes a long way toward saving on energy bills later. Walls can be made of steel and concrete, rather than more expensive and volatile treated wood. Many cities have lumber yards and “re-stores” where you can buy recycled or left over building materials that are strong, cheap, and often antique or authentically vintage.
Look for low flow shower heads and low flush or composting toilets. Consider energy saving washers and dryers, or put a line in your yard to hang wet clothes on sunny days Make sure your HVAC unit is sealed and clean, and look for gas stoves and instantaneous, or tank-less, water heaters.
Rather than use expensive hardwoods that endanger the land and deplete forests, many real estate builders have found inexpensive and beautiful alternatives in bamboo (which is technically not a wood but a grass, and yet one of the hardest and most easily replenished flooring materials) and cork (also easily replenished). Concrete, too, can be a sturdy and inexpensive alternative, as can old fashioned linoleum, which is actually made from linen and other natural fibers.
4. Paint and Other Materials:
Many paint manufacturers are looking for green alternatives to oil and latex; one such option is the use of milk-based paints (which upon application smell like milk instead of harsh chemicals, and which don’t have any carcinogenic ingredients.) Recycled glass is now being made into kitchen and bath tiles, and countertops are being made with recycled materials that look even more beautiful and unique than mined granite.
5. Solar Energy:
Solar energy doesn’t just mean expensive panels that sit on your roof (though that’s one kind, called active solar energy). Considering a solar home can mean investing in thick-paned, glazed windows or in more complicated photovoltaic cells. Though solar tends to be an expensive investment, upfront, the rewards show up every month in your energy bills.
Look for yards and common areas with plants that require little watering. Consider getting rain barrels (many cities sell them through their water and energy programs) or converting your outdoor water system to “graywater” (which involves using recycled water from dishwashers and washing machines to water your lawn or wash your car). Looks for trees that are native to your area, and plant them so they shield your windows from too much sun during hotter days.
While a lot of green building means being aware of what is going into your home, you might also want to check out your neighborhood. Are there recycling programs or community gardens? Public transportation? Bike paths so you can have the option of avoiding traffic? Are there shops and restaurants close to you, to encourage walking? While thinking about these things may seem unimportant now, our global climate and community with thank you later. (Oh, and don’t forget the federal tax deductions.)
The Next Rating Tools of GREENSHIP
In upcoming The GREENSHIP in Existing Building, the most overlooked green building design element is known as operations and maintenance practices. This would typically occur after the remodel or construction of the project. When building one must consider the impact that O&M practices have on both the owner’s bottom line and the tenants needs as well. Implementing a good O&M program is typically easy, and does not need to be a huge budget issue either. That quotes which I was trying with The GBCI member to transform in public realm. Companies are seeing a 5-20% energy savings when implementing a best-practice O&M program. Basically these programs are educating the facilities employees/tenants to best utilize the energy usage by making better decisions throughout the day. By changing their daily habits and recognizing these people for their efforts, it is possible to sustain these savings for the long term. Green building design takes into consideration a vast amount of architectural elements. A lot of which are case by case design strategies which must be carefully planned out as not to miss a potential key savings or environmental benefit.
So, let’s treat well our earth because it was not given to you by your parents, but loaned to you by your children….
Green Building Council Indonesia