Happy Earth Day to all!
Each year, I'm asked why Earth Day matters and I'm truthfully exhausted with that argument. It just matters, okay!? (For a longer piece on that issue, read an old blog post called Why Earth Day Matters.)
One of the key reasons of its relevance is awareness and the Earth Day Network works hard each year to develop global themes. This time it is Green Cities:
Earth Day Network launched the Green Cities campaign in the fall of 2013 to help cities around the world become more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint. Focused on three key elements – buildings, energy, and transportation – the campaign aims to help cities accelerate their transition to a cleaner, healthier, and more economically viable future through improvements in efficiency, investments in renewable technology, and regulation reform.
The campaign will also look at strategically placed cities and towns to organize grassroots efforts to improve local codes, ordinances, and policies that will help cities become model green cities.
After the jump, check the description on the three priorities - energy, green buildings, and transportation - and continue to follow the campaign HERE.
Most of the world currently relies on outdated electric generation structures that are extremely inefficient and dirty. To help cities become more sustainable, we need to redesign the current system, transition to renewable energy sources, and implement 21st century solutions.
Buildings account for nearly one third of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Through simple efficiency and design improvements to buildings we can reduce those emissions drastically. To realize that vision, cities need to update ordinances, switch to performance based building codes, and improve financing options.
Transportation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, three quarters of which comes directly from road vehicles. To reduce these emissions and the resulting smog, we need to improve standards, increase public transportation options, invest in alternative transportation, and improve city walkability and bikeability.