The vast majority of climate scientists believe that not only is manmade climate change real, it’s quickly moving to place where the effects will be catastrophic for much of the world and possibly even irreversible.
You may be concerned but feel that you as an individual can’t do much to influence the course of events, and it’s true that initiatives like switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy are the province of whole industries and governments. But there actually are a number of measures individuals can take that, if a lot of us take them, can have a significant impact. Here, then, are environmental planning ideas you can use to change your home, workplace, and lifestyle for the better.
Environmental Planning and Wood
When buying furniture, choose timber furniture. It was a significantly lower environmental profile and does less environmental damage than plastic, steel, composite materials, or even pressed wood. In addition, timber is a renewable resource.
Speaking of wood, it’s also an excellent idea to plant trees around your home. They absorb carbon dioxide from the air. If space is at a premium (if you live in an apartment, for example), you can still have smaller trees in pots on your terrace.
Besides being good for the environment, having wood around is good for you personally. Research has found that people with more wood in their workplaces feel better, take fewer sick days, and are more productive.
Environmental Planning and Green Habits at Home
When practical, cut energy consumption in your house. Closed curtains can keep your home cooler without running the AC. Dry clothes on a line and you won’t need to run your dryer.
Environmental Planning and Your Appliances
To combat climate change, we need energy-efficient appliances. Still, when buying a new one, there’s a temptation to opt for a less-energy efficient one because it’s cheaper. To combat this temptation, bear in mind that lower utility bills will soon more than make up for the extra money you spent.
Environmental Planning and the Connected Lifestyle
In today’s world, some of us are online constantly connected to Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Netflix, or whatever. Most of us don’t realize that Internet use produces a lot of carbon emissions, about as much globally as the aviation industry.
Thus it’s good for the environment if we all uncouple periodically. You may find that coming up for air occasionally in the real world results in a healthier, more balanced life as well.
Similarly, it would be a good idea if we all resisted the temptation to discard perfectly serviceable smartphones and comparable devices every time the new model comes out. That too produces a huge environmental footprint.
Environmental Planning at Work or School
You control the environment in your home. Your control over the environment in your workplace or school is almost certainly far more limited. Still, there are areas where you can apply environmental planning principles.
You can, for example, take the stairs and avoid the considerable energy consumption associated with the elevator. You can put a long-lasting LED in your lamp. You can bring your lunch from home.
And if there’s a sustainability officer or committee, don’t be shy about offering whatever good ideas occur to you. One idea many offices have adopted is adding an end-of-trip facility. Typically offering bike racks, lockers, showers, and changing rooms, these give the workers the opportunity to cycle, walk, or jog to and from work.
Adopting all of the ideas presented above may seem like an overwhelming prospect. Fortunately, you don’t have to do that. Start with one positive change and implement others gradually, and the process won’t seem onerous or unpleasant.