“Oh mom, I had the most beautiful dream. I was sitting in a meadow and the grass was green, air was clean, sky was so blue it looked like it had been painted and the river, the river looked happy momma. The birds were chirping and the song they sang was so melodious, I wanted to thank them. Will we ever be able to live that life?”
We live in an era in which growth is everything. We have moved from mudded roads and house to shiny black smooth roads and strong brick and cemented houses. Everywhere, new facilities ranging from flat road to sky high buildings can be seen being constructed in every nook and corner. While this development is important for ‘homo-sapiens’, we cannot ignore the damage it is causing to the environment. For every part of land that is cleared, millions of trees and plants lose their lives.
Can we stop the progress? No. So, what alternative do we have to maintain a sustainable development?
Buildings account for almost 40% of global energy-related carbon-di-oxide hence, green buildingsare the solution for a sustainable growth. They are the practice of designing, constructing, and operating buildings to make them more environmental-friendly. This idea was brought in by Rachael Carson brought in 1962 in her book named “Silent Spring.”
Ever since, the idea has done more than just sit in yellow pages. This thought has taken over the world by a storm. There are more than 80,000 projects participating in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) constructions including 32,500 certified commercial projects. In India, the IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) have aimed to make India the greenest in the world by having 10 billion sq. ft of green building footprint, by 2020. Currently, 6.33 billion sq. ft has been achieved. According to US Green Building Council, India ranks 3rd in the annual top ten countries and regions with more than 752 LEED certified projects, while China and Canada are at the top.
Data from National Geographic says that Green buildings have brought in a significant reduction in energy and water usage, as much as 25% and 11% respectively. 80 million tons of waste from landfills has been diverted and this figure will reach to 540 million by 2030.
Mother nature has provided us with everything, from our basic needs to our unnecessary wants. And, all we have done is exploit her resources and harm her in the process. More than 95 percent of the world’s population breathes in polluted air, nearly 70% of water in India is contaminated and is the reason for about 20% of the country’s disease burden. If we do not rectify our methods quickly, we will have destroyed our own home by our own hands.