From Architecture to Exercise a “Cleaner, Greener” 2016 is in the Works
by Amy Lignor
With each New Year brings new hope for Planet Earth. And, thankfully, as each year goes by, people and companies are getting more and more excited about making that “green” pledge and doing all they can to help stop our carbon footprints from growing.
The categories are endless. There are events, projects, and conventions already scheduled to touch upon every area of life and how those areas can become “greener.” Beginning with the broad category of housing and architecture, the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects program is a true celebration of ideas. Entries are considered and ideas are amassed when it comes to structures that use a “thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology to provide architectural solutions which protect and enhance the environment.” Design, innovation, and integration within a neighborhood is what AIA Green Projects are all about. And designers are always looking for better uses when it comes to the land, as well as studying the effects of the land used by builders. They come up with new ideas on how to save on-site ecology and strengthen the habitats without doing harm during the building process. There are some incredible bioclimatic designs that have brought about new innovations in energy, water, light and air usage for sustainable living, and more. Each designer consistently does outstanding work that will cause a better and healthier life for people, habitats, and the planet, itself.
Another large category when creating a “cleaner, greener” planet comes in the form of agricultural programs. A slew of projects, such as; “Feeding Austin, One Garden at a Time,” (Green Corn Project), addresses the needs in the agricultural industry and how people can sustain themselves using the land in the right way. The 2016 Spring Seeds to Starts workshops teach people how to start growing their own vegetables from seed and helps those in need get access to nutritious, affordable food. Go to any community website and you will find a project such as this for 2016. In this way, more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon and learning how to plant gardens and lower the use of chemicals.
When it comes to raising money, teaching others what is best for a “greener” world, and also getting some exercise to boot, the list of Green World Walks has been posted for anyone who wishes to participate. By losing our connection with the earth and relying so heavily on finding “easy” ways to do things, humans end up destroying habitats instead of saving them. It is a harsh fact that the World Wildlife Fund reported that we have lost half of the world’s wildlife in just 40 years. Carbon levels are at their highest point in human history. But we have the power to change all that by becoming a part of Green World Walks. This is a very large project that boasts five walks that will take place around the world beginning in 2016.
The first, “Ceres,” will be a walk celebrating agriculture. “Aranyani” will help to support and protect the world’s forests. “Hebo” will concentrate on the world’s fresh water and how to keep it clean. The “Neptune” walk will focus on the world’s oceans and seas; and “Apollo” will be all about the people – finding the wisdom that will have people reconnecting with the stunning world we live in, and finding ways to protect that world for future generations.
When it comes to the business community, in 2016 there are a great deal of expos, conventions and events scheduled to help the business world understand more and learn more about new innovations that can help companies become “greener.”
One of the largest is GreenBiz 2016, which will be held February 23-25 in Phoenix, Arizona. This expo is now in its eighth year and continues to define the trends, help businesses understand the challenges and offer up opportunities that exist in sustainable business. This is the place where businesses learn what the next steps and products are that will help shape a “cleaner, greener” world. Advances in technologies, policies and business models can be found that will allow your business to achieve new levels of energy efficiency.
In other words, whether you are a scientist, a homeowner, a builder, or a businessperson (as well as anything in-between), 2016 has on tap the best steps to take in order to clean up the environment and learn how to make this world a “cleaner, greener” place to live.