World Environment Day 2022 – Living sustainably amidst global warming

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World Environment Day 2022 – Living sustainably amidst global warming

Posted on June 4, 2022

– by Akash Pharande, General Manager – Espaces Pharande

World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5, aims to remind us that we live on a planet with limited resources, and that each of us must respect these limits. In 2022, World Environment Day carries the theme “One Earth” and asks us to focus on sustainable living in harmony with nature. It’s a sobering message, one that gains all the more relevance at a time when we face growing evidence of global warming.

Already, Mumbai is seeing sea levels rise by nearly 2 mm per year. NASA has confirmed that over the next century melting glaciers will raise the city’s sea level by about 16cm. It has been estimated that the Indian subcontinent could lose more than 13,000 square kilometers of land if sea levels rise only one meter. Mumbai has been reclaimed from the ocean and global warming will eventually cause it to return to the ocean.

This is only part of the unfolding tragedy. Pune, which once boasted extremely good weather, is also a victim of climate change. We have just completed one of the most brutal summers any of us can remember. Rainfall has become erratic and unreliable. Across the planet, the climate crisis has resulted in exaggerated weather patterns, sometimes so violent that tens of thousands of people lose their homes and must either move or perish. Economic losses run into the trillions of any currency we care to imagine. And yet there is so little change in response to the challenge before us.

Undoubtedly, the real estate industry bears a great deal of responsibility – project development wipes out green cover as well as other natural resources. Most developers are aware of the effect development has on the environment, but because there is demand, supply follows. It’s an economic imperative, although there’s a bigger imperative that needs to be considered – a finite environment is being depleted.

What can we do as individuals?

One thing anyone can do is invest in eco-friendly homes instead of going for the lowest price. As already mentioned, housing demand follows economic imperatives. In Indian cities, most people are looking for the cheapest houses, which itself has negative consequences on the environment.

Cheaper housing has many negative attributes that harm the environment. Mass housing projects are usually built on smaller plots where every square inch is used for development. In short, green carpeting is usually non-existent and not even expected, since buyers only want the carpet area they can get for the lowest possible price.

Second, mass housing developers will generally not follow sustainable building materials and practices, as these increase the overall cost of construction. This increased cost must be put on their customers, who may not buy homes in the project if prices are higher. Conversely, a developer who builds an ecologically sustainable township will not cut corners on these costs.

An eco-friendly township project requires meticulous planning to ensure not only maximum comfort for residents, but also minimal impact on the environment. And the careful planning goes beyond the simple construction phase. Sustainable real estate is created in such a way that even its use after project completion has the lowest possible environmental footprint.

Solar electricity is widely used, as is rainwater harvesting. Most importantly, a sustainable township will maintain as much green cover as possible, retaining native trees and shrubs to safeguard the earth’s existing natural patterns and resources. From an environmental point of view, the green cover is not just an “eye candy” for residents to enjoy. It also allows for maximum air movement and renewal of air quality.

This reduces the incidence of environmentally harmful heat islands, and more natural airflow, natural shade and natural sunlight also reduces the need to run electrical appliances to cool and light dwellings. of the project. The water is recycled for multiple uses, and the township developer will ensure that circulation within the project remains fluid, without bottlenecks that cause more pollutants to exude into the atmosphere.

Do green homes make a difference?

Undoubtedly, environmentally sustainable housing projects cost a bit more than unsustainable ones. Take into account that homes in sustainable townships are also cheaper to operate and the price difference is usually made up within a few years. But the main reason for choosing green housing should be to contribute positively to the preservation of the environment.

If a house will be bought anyway, why not choose a house in a certified green project? It makes a difference to the environment. Certification agencies like GRIHA do not approve such certification unless the project has passed several strict environmental compliance parameters.

So yes, you can make a difference on World Environment Day 2022. Currently, more Indians are buying homes than ever before. Chances are you are also in the market for your dream home. Choosing a green house is not just a symbolic gesture, it is a permanent and substantial contribution to the environment.

Teresa H. Sadler