The Early Warning Signs
Humans have finally realized that natural resources are finite and our planet is under increasing pressure from the effects of senseless exploitation of natural resources to meet the needs – often extravagant- of a burgeoning population.
The warning bells have been ringing for a while now. Our modern lifestyle has contributed greatly to rising temperatures, a depleting ozone layer and an acute scarcity of water. The disappearance of the sparrow, a common presence in our midst until a few years ago and the continued drought like conditions in California are the two clear signs of things to come.
Thanks to sustained efforts from a few dedicated individuals and organizations, global warming is no longer brushed aside as a figment of imagination of the alarmists and vested interests. There is irrefutable proof that if the environmental degradation is not checked now, the consequences would sound the death knell for our civilization.
Is there still hope for the future of mankind, given the seemingly insurmountable odds that we have managed to create against our own survival? There definitely is hope, provided we clean up our act now and manage to undo some of the damage we have inflicted on our planet.
Consider sustainable development
Sustainable development can be defined as a set of principles to follow, for the responsible use of the finite resources on the earth with a view to providing future generations a means to meet their needs to make a living. It has also been described in terms of four dimensions – environmental, economic, social and cultural – with each dimension playing a specific role.
How sustainable is your home?
How can individuals fulfill their part of the obligation and implement best practices in sustainable development? Here is a checklist to assess how sustainable your home really is.
- Earth: Are you using environmentally sustainable materials? For example, preferring soil -stabilized bricks over conventional bricks has the advantage of preserving the topsoil.
- Energy: Are you meeting your energy by harnessing solar, wind and waste sources?
- Water: Are you meeting your own freshwater demands using rainwater harvesting and recycling, and purification of water?
- Waste: Are you managing your solid, wet, chemical and recyclable waste efficiently?
- Air: Are you using energy-efficient and ozone-friendly passive and active cooling systems?
- Biomass: Have you surrounded your home with a thick plant cover to absorb toxic waste, prevent soil erosion and increase oxygen content?
The sustainable development model
Biodiversity Conservation India Limited (BCIL), through their ZED habitats, have successfully implemented the Zero Energy Development (ZED) concept at ZED Earth in Bangalore and ZED Ria in Chennai. Learn more about ZED habitats on our Website.
Some individual initiatives for you
Consider you have a private luxury villa and you are not entirely satisfied with the sustainability measures you have taken in your home? You want to do more. Remember, your individual measures, no matter how small, can still create an impact and contribute to the greater cause. You can implement the following basic measures:
- Go for LED lights, which consume less energy than conventional lights.
- Implement rainwater harvesting and use water purification equipment to recycle water.
- Explore options for use of natural light where possible.
- Explore plumbing solutions that help reduce water wastage.
- Use solar energy to light up your home and to cook your food (solar cooker).
- Grow your own vegetables using kitchen waste.