A Look at Sustainable Development: As a New Decade Dawns
As the new decade dawns, it is the perfect opportunity to take account; to re-evaluate past practices and to establish new patterns.
The last five years have seen big, impactful changes in the realm of green building, low impact development (LID) alternatives and sustainability.
No longer are we content with the “wait and see” school of thought; rather, we are proactive and adventurous. We are well aware that it is up to us to not only repair the damage that has been accumulating over the past decades but to change our environmental policies, procedures and practices in order to eliminate the destructive forces and do our part to ensure the Earth is left healthy and strong for generations to come.
The World is Feeling the Effects of Climate Change
There are noticeable changes to our weather patterns due to climate change.
Rain events are becoming unpredictable, more frequent and more intense.
Weather temperatures are rising, the effect of which is intensified due to our population growth and subsequent urban development.
The Earth is feeling the stress. Natural disasters are, sadly, commonplace from fires to flooding, from droughts to hurricanes.
Change is difficult. Change takes time.
It is a lot easier to “cut and paste” specifications into a design project than it is to try and integrate new sustainable development practices. Deadlines are tight and we are overworked.
Related Read: Why Municipalities Should Promote and Encourage LID
There are not enough incentives and usually not even enough support to look outside the box and include different green products, such as permeable pavers.
In order for low impact development alternatives, green building practices and sustainable technologies to become mainstream, benefiting not only us but generations to come, this has to change.
We have to do, and encourage others to do, all that we can to provide support to those motivated to “go green”.
Grants such as the Green Municipal Fund and the TD FEF Grant definitely help get people started.
It is actually easier than one may think to take these steps due to the fact that we have mentors to look towards. We do not have to start at square one.
LID alternatives, green building practices and sustainable technologies have been used for over three decades throughout Europe in similar, if not harsher, climates.
We don’t have to start our testing from the beginning. Their snow is the same as our snow and their weather temperatures and fluctuations are the same as ours. We should be able to thank them for their work and diligence and use their green products and systems with confidence.
For This Model to be Successful, it is Imperative to Have Government Support on All Levels.
One of the most successful teaching models is to lead by example. The impact of local municipalities changing their ways to include LID alternatives, sustainable development practices and green technologies in an apparent and easily noticeable manner is the key to others feeling confident to follow suit.
Including these types of products and building techniques into high profile projects helps normalize what, until now, has been thought of as “new and different”.
As 2020 begins, we look to our government for unwavering support and guidance.