Painless solutions to achieving sustainability democracy

This famous sustainability quote of Aldous Huxley, can tell us a lesson: to stop destroying our environment because it takes a lot of hard work to repair what has been damaged.

“Ending is better than mending.”
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

This famous sustainability quote of Aldous Huxley, can tell us a lesson: to stop destroying our environment because it takes a lot of hard work to repair what has been damaged.

If this is the case, then the solution entails sustainable democracy—one that meets people’s needs, as well as their future generations while at the same time acknowledging the rule of the people for the sake of everyone. The Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development released a “Manifesto for Democracy and Sustainability” that involves 5 principles; namely, sustainability and flourishing democracy, planning ahead, prioritizing sustainability as a central goal of governments, citizenship being linked to democracy through education, and inclusive knowledge.

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Ideal as it may seem, these two powerful concepts, most of the time, are being disconnected to each other. Sustainability has not been prioritized by some democratic governments. Pamela Laughland and Tima Bansal’s article on the Ivey Business Journal entitled, “The Top Ten Reason Why Businesses Aren’t More Sustainable” reveals that governments have the right policies and regulations to push businesses to be more sustainable in accessing environmental resources. But the government either ineffectively uses these policies or worse, not implements it at all.

As part of these democracies, you and I have the responsibility of ensuring the next generation’s future. And you might be asking now, “What can I do to save our planet?” Let me give you the answer. You don’t have to look very far to create your own green thumb or green footprint to save our awesome planet. Yes, it may be a small step but future generations can surely benefit from it. We can weave the concepts of sustainability and democracy together to be able to create a positive change in our human planet.

Let us start with some commonsense solutions so that you won’t be bombarded with huge undertakings that might overwhelm you. We can start with your own living space, your condo or home properties perhaps.

Be Innovative, Go Green

Sustainable cities might be one of the solutions. Nowadays, modern-day cities tend to consume and produce more beyond their geographical regions. According to the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), cities have become major distributors and consumers of goods and services. This instance has allowed them to drain the natural resources and thus causing a huge impact on the environment by increased resource consumption and trade.

And this is where sustainable cities can come in. The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) notes that a sustainable community is “one that is economically, environmentally, and socially healthy and resilient.” This type of community is able to manage its resources to meet everyone’s needs while ensuring the availability of resources for future generations. And yes,condominiums are also part of this.

Around the world, innovative structures are adapting through the needs of time such as skyscrapers and high-rise condominiums, making sure that they are sustainable and eco-friendly. These structures address different construction issues, such as water conservation issues and they also use “green” materials to ensure the sustainability of the constructed building.

Painless solutions to achieving sustainability democracy

Photo courtesy of Flickr

These kinds of structures employ green architecture, one that conserves energy, recycles and ensures the safety of its material, and minimizes its harm of the environment. Isn’t it good if your condominium unit would be like this as well? Then perhaps you won’t be adding up to the worst problems of Mother Earth if you knew that your dwelling place is eco-friendly. Talk to your friendly developer about the sustainability of your condominium and its green architecture. You might be surprised on the facts that will be given to you by your developer.

Budget-friendly, yet Earth-friendly

Have you ever wonder how you can have a condo that sticks to your budget but doesn’t bring adverse effects to the environment? According to Deborah Birkett’s article entitled “Earth Conscious Condos”, while building the “green” condo, it can cost a little more by 1-4% but once built, it saves you money because of how it is being managed and run since it is environment-friendly.

Ask your real estate agent for building and property architecture that is sustainable and fits your budget when looking for a condo. You can never go wrong by finding earth-friendly condominiums and buildings in key cities, especially in cities that have high awareness of the environment.

Green architecture = energy efficiency

Painless solutions to achieving sustainability democracy

Image courtesy of Flickr

One of the benefits of going green in your living space, particularly your condo unit, is that green architecture has impacts on energy use. In America, Jim Carlton reports that homebuyers consider energy efficient buildings as a priority when looking for which specific house to buy because power bills have increased twice in most of their markets. They ranked energy efficient structures in the second top spot, in a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, when asked to rank their top 12 influences when buying a house.

Like in the case of Debbie Swank, a financial planner, who from having as much as $400 a month in electric bills now has to pay about $192 thanks to the radiant barrier roof that reflects the sun’s rays. It also has a dual-thermostat cooling system that can adjust room temperature.

Be aware of the appliances in your house that you can replace with energy efficient ones so you can save money on bills, such as your fluorescent lights. Also, you can look for government projects near your home that you can participate in to be more knowledgeable on green architecture and energy efficient homes.

Your Actions and the Future of Green Living

Painless solutions to achieving sustainability democracy

Image courtesy of Flickr

Indeed, going green and incorporating green living concepts in your everyday life will allow you to do your share in saving Mother Earth. Be in the know how, as sustainability trends are but a click away, thanks to the help of the internet. Being knowledgeable in these topics can help you make sound decisions on sustainable investments and can really save you a lot of money if you are just aware of the current green innovations available to you.

What’s stopping us from green innovations might be our lack of information or our mindset that it is expensive, hard to achieve, and burdensome to implement. In the end, for us to achieve sustainable democracy, we can work hand-in-hand with our government with these simple commonsense steps and solutions. In this age of various advancements in technology, our decisions will determine how technology affects the environment—whether it be positive or negative, in our lives and in our future generations.

Our eyes have already seen the effects of our decisions; from the climate change, storms, hurricanes and other calamities. Our world has so much to offer to us humans, but it is up to us whether we will take good care of our resources or not.

Jona Miranda Jone is a Washington Times Communities Writer. She’s been writing about business, sustainability and environment.

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