Amid all the pressure for countries to cut emissions and do more to protect the environment, all sorts of green initiatives are popping up around the world to disrupt traditional city-life. New urban areas in some places are being designed along the lines of a ‘smart city’ – a digitally-connected living area where sustainability is at their heart.New business buildings are embracing energy-efficient technologies, while governments are turning to renewable power sources to keep up with demand in the least damaging ways possible.
Cutting road pollution
The evolution of electric cars is helping to cut emissions from gas-guzzling vehicles. Once a niche industry, they’re now becoming the mode of transport of choice for city-dwellers – particularly because charging points are now more of a familiar sight.
Electric cars are also taking to the roads alongside electric buses and trains – public transport which has undergone a revolutionary change over recent years, helping to cut emissions and environmental damage on busy highways.
There’s also be a gear shift in encouraging people to use other forms of transport to the car. Going by bike or by foot, for example. Bike hire schemes are now commonplace in cities, where you can pick up two wheels from one location and then drop them off somewhere else.Stretches of road are also becoming more environmentally-friendly in themselves. Energy efficient street lighting provided by companies such as SOMPOR is being utilized, which can also be used in parks and other open spaces.
New buildings in cities are now going up with energy efficiency and green credentials in mind. Some even generate their own power, through integrated wind turbines and solar panels.
Inside the buildings, companies are increasingly encouraging their staff to work in a responsible and sustainable manner. Cutting down on paper usage, boosting recycling and switching off non-essential equipment when it’s time to go home. Common-sense thinking which, in some places, has taken a while to catch on.
Changes at home
On a personal level, city residents in many places are also now doing their own bit to help the environment. It can be through installing energy-saving light bulbs in every room of their home to recycling all their waste plastic and cardboard. In some places, this has happened because of a change in local waste disposal rules.
There’s also growing awareness of the importance of limiting the creation of waste, for example through re-using grocery bags and taking a cup to the local café rather than using another disposable one that ends up in the trash.
Switch to renewables
As well as some companies developing their own power sources, many planning authorities are now turning their backs on polluting power stations and looking to wind and solar power instead – on a grand scale. However, this is taking longer in some places than others, where the transition to renewable sources faces challenges in terms of developing the necessary infrastructure and storage.
Overall, the energy market is evolving though,and the rewards of cutting reliance on things like coal are starting to deliver environmentally-friendly results.