With the increasing levels of pollution and the alarming levels of environmental degradation, it is necessary that every individual does his/her part in protecting the environment. For those of us who live in a residential society, it is essential that our societies adopt a sustainable way of life. Once our societies adopt greener ways of building the homes, managing the facility and conducting everyday business. Innovative green initiatives can help forge a sustainable community that works towards a better world and leads healthier lives.
Benefits of Going Green in the residential community
- Reduced water consumption: By using recycled water for flushing and landscaping needs, the water and energy consumption cost is cut by 30-40%. Residential societies could also opt for rain harvesting systems that will take care of water scarcity during summer.
- Reduced energy consumption: By introducing solar panels and energy-efficient lighting, the residential society can drastically reduce dependence on non-renewable energy resources. This also cuts down the average electricity bill of a home by up to 40%.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Adopting energy conservative housing practises considerably reduces the carbon footprint of the society as well as the members residing there.
- Better waste management: The society can adopt organic waste management systems, composting and on-site recycling. This reduces waste streams and benefits the environment.
- Protected natural biodiversity: Societies can opt for natural flora for their landscaping needs. This not only uses far less resources than exotic varieties saving the society a lot of money. This is also a sustainable way of protecting local plant life.
- Enhanced resident health: For societies that want to ensure the health of their residents, the architecture must use natural light and air circulation. The societies can also declare common areas as ‘No Smoking’ zones which while promoting residential health also reduces air pollution. Further, societies must use chemical-free insecticides and pesticides to upkeep the foliage.
- Cooling cost savings: Most green buildings choose to add thermal mass for insulation that keeps walls and roofs radiate less heat into the room. Double glazed windows lower heating, saving on air conditioning costs.
- Sustainable building practices: Societies can use eco-friendly, non-toxic and native materials in the construction like bamboo and autoclaved aerated concrete to minimize strain on local infrastructure and provide comfortable dwellings. Further, societies can also use eco-friendly fixtures like CFL bulbs, solar chimneys and even use natural paint for better indoor air quality.
- Reduced maintenance costs: The use of sustainable materials in the construction makes the building more durable while the installation of energy-efficient systems considerably reduces operating cost for the management committee.
- Improved environmental awareness: Societies are advised to raise awareness and educate their occupants on the eco-friendly lifestyle thus, creating a community that is eco-friendly and sustainable
What can residents do to keep their society green?
- Be more active: Be an active member of your management committee, so you can voice your concerns and promote initiatives that protect your environment.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle: Try to reduce the amount of waste leaving your home. Make sure you segregate the waste and recycle or donate as much as possible.
- Conserve water: Help the community out by saving water at home. Take shorter showers, regularly check the pipes in your home for leaks, turn off the tap when shaving or brushing your teeth and use your washing machine smartly.
- Buy your produce locally: Try to gather your society and encourage them to buy your produce locally directly from the farm. This minimizes packaging while helping out your local farmer.
- Initiate carpooling: Try to create carpooling groups within the society to keep pollution at a minimum and economise daily travel.
- Go plastic-free: Try to avoid single-use plastics and try to get your society to avoid using plastic in common areas and during social gatherings. Opt for eco-friendly alternatives in your homes and in society.
- Conserve electricity: Always turn off the fans and lights when leaving a room. Try to conserve electricity as much as possible. Always check your electrical appliances for malfunctioning. Try to replace old lights and appliances with energy-efficient alternatives and unplug unused chargers and devices.
- Organise social drives: Organise social drives to collect old clothes, toys and appliances in the society, so you can donate them instead of contributing to landfill. Try to initiate planting trees and social gardens.
With a little thought and co-operation, your society can go green. Reap the economic benefits of these initiatives while considerably reducing ecological impact.
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