The world’s population remains steadily rising, and this is as the world deals with global warming. Efforts to go green in cities to make the world more sustainable remain a bigger priority than ever. The key areas of interest and focus with environmentalists remain to be the urban areas.
Half of the world’s population enjoy living and making a living in cities. With expectations suggesting three-quarters of the world will make cities their homes in the next three decades. The question no longer is if cities can go green, but how can they go green.
At least 70% of energy consumption and emissions are city-inclined. The fact is cities have to become more sustainable and eco-friendlier. Below are steps your city can take to make itself more eco-friendly.
Going the Solar Power Way
Solar energy is one of the most popular renewable energy sources. It is readily available, eco-friendly, and saves you a lot of money on electricity costs. The solar power industry is innovating upgrades to cater to a more sustainable earth. Solar panels are now no longer meant just for your roof; companies such as Tesla create solar windows.
An increase in cities incorporating solar use planning on new buildings and industrial plants is essential. It fosters sustainability and also decreases the use of fossil fuels that pollute the environment.
Cities can look towards the Kamuthi solar power project, home to the biggest solar plant in India. The 2500 acre park powers up to 150,000 homes, effectively making the Tamil Nadu area sustainable.
Banning of Plastics Use
Plastic items are made out of carbon and usually remain non-degradable. Some of the most common earth pollution practices include plastic bag disposal, which breeds littering. To counter this, more and more cities are looking towards banning plastic bags. The act goes hand in hand with promoting the use of reusable bags. Cities like Santa Fe and Nairobi have picked up this habit and are reaping the benefits of cleaner areas.
Another form of pollution and littering involves the disposal of plastic water bottles and party cups. While often viewed as extreme, banning plastic water bottles is also another way of going earth-friendly. Cities could start this by not allowing plastic bottles in schools and city-owned properties.
Reliable waste and garbage collection with the intention of recycling is a vital process to going green. Your trash is not all so pleasing; however, when well processed can be turned into energy. It also works to eliminate waste landfills collection that excessively pollutes the air.
Composting is also an effective way of waste management. Cities should create an area to compost food and other degradable waste, known as compost services. The sites, in turn, pile the waste and transform it into energy.
Compost services also reduce the general levels of garbage collected from households. An example is Oregon residents producing 30 percent less trash weekly since introducing a curbside composting program.
An Extensive and Integrated Transport System
Commuting in cities is one of the biggest challenges to cities going green. Transport contributes to smog, which depletes the ozone layer and massive levels of noise pollution. Car emissions are the most significant contributors to this phenomenon. However, it’s not only down to cars; cities planning their transport system contribute to traffic that accelerates and enhances pollution environments.
More car manufacturers are looking to reduce vehicle emissions by manufacturing eco-friendly vehicles. The vehicles are electrically powered and can recharge by renewable energy like solar power. Other cities are promoting cycling. Not only is cycling good for your health, but it’s emissions free and therefore doesn’t harm the environment. Influencing health-conscious people and others can boost cycling as a form of commute.
In addition, creating exclusive bus lanes and electrifying those buses is also beneficial. It helps to quicken and smooth transportation as well as reduce air pollution by running electric. In turn, and with time people will be more comfortable not using their vehicles. A vital step forward towards cities being more eco-friendly.
More Outdoor Spaces and Parks
Ask a city-dweller some of their favorite places to be, and they’ll indeed mention social forests/parks and nature-oriented spaces. The breath of fresh air and natural beauty is an unbeatable space and feeling in cities.
This is why we refer to parks as the lungs of a city. They are a symbol of connection to nature and foster healthy living. Cities should use them as a starting point in creating awareness for going green.
Author: Sheryl Wright