Under a previous US administration, the environment seemed to have taken a back seat to nationalism,
industry, jobs, and the economy. Initiatives like the Paris agreement - where 196 nations, including the
US, agreed to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions - were trampled in the dust of denial while a nation
hung on the latest tweet about just about anything else.
Thankfully for those of us who view things from the perspective that 'better' is just, well, better as far as
being more sustainable is concerned – times are a changing again, and the Environment discussion is
back on the boil.
The Environment & Climate Action is a Political Matter then?
Let’s make one thing crystal clear here, and keep this well away from Politics – which is kind of the point of this editorial about Earth Day – a Day on which I align with the current administration, and also coincidentally with Trammell S. Crow, the founder of the World’s Biggest Earth Day Event – EarthX in Texas – is that being Sustainable and cleaning up our act actually makes the best business sense for the US (and Canada).
Please note, Crow himself, born & bred in Texas is described as a “green” Republican and was a self-proclaimed "armchair environmentalist” before he realized the full potential of the environment and the economy and founded the inaugural EarthX event in 2011.
Since then, this international environmental forum has brought together hundreds of thousands of attendees—educators, business leaders, students and global statesmen and women—to "explore sustainable solutions for today's most pressing challenges."
The History of Earth Day
When it was the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd, 2020, and with the renewed Media interest in "The Environment" that we're going to call "The Greta Effect", we decided to see what Earth Day is really all about, find out what prompted it to happen, what it's achieved in those 50 years… And MOST Importantly, what can we all do to Help the planet we're leaving for our Children...
2020 Changed Things for All of us
So many things have changed in the last year. People’s attitudes to their families, their homes, to their quality of life – and this in the end may be the silver lining we all wish for – but it’s going to have to be handled carefully.
The problems we face are that with a growing population needing housing, and an exodus from urban centres, we’re now running the risk of urban sprawl. To clear up a likely misconception - most people would be surprised to hear that the most eco-friendly home you can buy is not an off-grid home out in the woods where you grow your own food, it’s a condo on a downtown bus route.
Shared services such as water, power, sewage, roads, parks and transportation have a much lower impact on the environment than each of us setting up our own private systems and farmsteads in what was previously undisturbed wilderness. To read a full report on the impact of 2020 on urban sprawl – and how to help reduce this impact, see here.
So, Earth Day 2021 – what’s the take-away?
Well, the main suggestions we’re going to make are a repeat of the advice we’ve given before:
- Treat Every day like it's Earth Day.
- Be informed, be motivated, take repeated small actions, they all help.
- Make better, greener, more sustainable consumer choices and spend your dollars more wisely.
- Renovate existing homes using safer, better building materials and techniques.
- “The biggest lesson from the first Earth Day: When we come together, the impact can be monumental.”
The Assembly of First Nations puts it well, “All are provided by our mother, the Earth… economic initiatives can be both profitable and sustainable for future generations”
Or to borrow a soundbite from EarthX - the secret of success is the triple bottom line: People, Profit and Planet
Now you know more about Earth Day and the importance of choosing sustainable and healthy building materials along with energy efficient home design year round.
Find more pages about sustainable construction and how to reduce emissions on the pages below and in the EcoHome Green Building Guide pages.
Find more about green home construction and reap the benefits of a free Ecohome Network Membership here.