There have been a number of alarming reports in recent months detailing the realities of climate change. It is here, now. And it’s going to get worse. There is a growing consensus globally that this is the case, and some local and national governments are even making concerted efforts to address it. But at the moment most of them are not doing enough to keep us from hitting the tipping point, at which we reach the threshold of irreversible damage to the planet. With the major players so far “opting out” of serious action, what can we as individuals do to help?
There are of course countless articles devoted to this very question. They urge us to vote, to write, to divest ourselves of a number of things - from cars to stocks. And without a doubt these are important actions to take. Making sure that our elected officials and the corporate higher-ups hear what we want their priorities to be will in the longer term be effective. But what to do now?
There are numerous ways to reduce our individual carbon footprints. We can carpool to work, plant a tree, eat less meat. And in our homes, we can turn the thermostat down (or up!) depending on the season. After all, buildings account for one-third of global energy use, and about a quarter of greenhouse emissions.
We at evoDOMUS are all about building energy efficient homes so that we can minimize our impact on the planet. Our buildings are super-insulated and tightly-sealed to prevent loss of air that you have used precious energy to heat or cool. Inside that tight envelope we use healthy, natural materials that are not going to make you sick with off-gassing. We also install efficient heating and cooling systems, low energy lighting, and low flow plumbing fixtures to minimize consumption of resources. We can even fit the house with solar panels, if you are so inclined, to provide an alternative energy source that is sustainable.
Energy efficiency is a low-hanging fruit when we talk about fighting climate change. If you are building a new house now, you can make so many choices that will better both your world, and the world outside. Even if you are not in the market for a new house, the changes you make to your existing home can have a dramatic impact on your energy consumption, and thus the emissions that you are responsible for from here on out. If you have to replace windows, get the good ones, with double or even triple glazing. (We are of course biased toward the Unilux windows that we sell. We import them from Germany, where triple glazing is standard.) If you need new plumbing fixtures, go low-flow. The newer ones are so well engineered that you won’t be able to tell the difference, except when it comes to your water bills.
So don’t be discouraged! Resolve to do what you can to better your corner of the world. If enough of us do the same it will make a difference. And perhaps our collective action will trickle up and inspire our leaders to do the right thing by our planet.