With all the controversy that has now arisen surrounding the Paris Agreement, climate change has become a hot button issue. While many debate the science behind the concept of Global Warming, one thing has become clear. The weather is getting hotter, the ice is melting and resources are running out.
The hunt for sustainable sources of energy and resources continues, but the good news is, these efforts have had several great results. Many companies and entire cities across the globe have begun to implement green programs to help restore our planet to at least close to her former glory.
Like the company Lacoste, who have temporarily changed their logo to the images of ten endangered species in support of the “Save the Species” Campaign. Much like the efforts of Lacoste, here are 10 fantastic Go-Green initiatives from around the world that will surprise and inspire you!
1. The Green Buildings In Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is one of the cities leading the world in environmentally friendly programs and has over 295 Green projects with Certification under LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
The Chicago Center for Green Technology, which has been non-operational but still occupied since 2014, was the first major step toward the green path and received the highest LEED rating a building can get.
A Green Permit Program was also later initiated to speed up the process of getting permits and offered the possibility of reduced fees for green projects. It looks like Green is the new trending color.
2. Solar Energy Projects in California
If there ever was a perfect state for channeling the power of the sun for energy, it has got to be the Sunshine State.
This state is home to Solar City, a Tesla subsidiary, and Sunrun, two major companies that provide solar installation services for the whole country. It is also home to Sun Power, the manufacturer of the most efficient solar panels in the world.
California also has the best net metering programs, that allow you to store solar energy for use at night, and a Self Generation Incentive Program, which subsidizes the cost of solar batteries. This state has made solar energy not only the most efficient form of energy but also the most cost-effective.
The current goal for California’s Electric Utilities companies is to ensure that by 2020, 33% of their power will be produced by renewable energy. True to its (nick)name, the main source of this renewable energy is likely to be solar energy.
3. Alternative Transportation in Portland, Oregon
Portland is working towards saying goodbye to traffic jams and pollution, both air and noise. In an effort to make the city safe for more people to ride bicycles, dedicated bike routes have been created.
This city is also the birthplace of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, now known as the Street Trust. This organization promotes bicycle advocacy and aims to create communities that make frequent travel bicycle-friendly.
More new bike paths are in the process of being made, courtesy of the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
4. The Eco-City Project in Hamburg, Germany
This project has been designed to be a sustainable sizeable community, with offices, hotels, walkways and other amenities, all surrounding beautiful open-air plazas. The very construction of this city has been planned in a manner that reduces energy consumption by 30%.
The Eco-City is being built to be as energy efficient as possible, making use of solar water heating systems and high-rise wind turbines which has been built to generate at least 10% of the major power of the city.
The goal for this project has been set to reach the highest ranking for the GSBC (German Sustainable Building Certificate), BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, launched in the UK), and LEED Certification.
5. Cool Pavements in America
This is a new concept that is beginning to inspire projects all across the country. The usual dark rooftops and pavements used to absorb a large percentage of sunlight which can add to the heat in the atmosphere.
Using a clear binder or certain surface coatings can make solar reflective “cool” pavements, that don’t absorb as much heat. The cost for the materials required to make these payments can be on the higher side and the collection of materials to build it can be a challenge.
However, California and Arizona are in the process of implementing a few of these reflective surfaces and are working towards further development of the design. Research has shown that making and maintaining these cool pavements could require the use of up to 6 times the energy used to produce the slurry seal commonly used to make roads and pavement.