Free «Sustainable Communities» UK Essay Paper
Table of Contents
Part 1: Conditions and Frameworks for Sustainability
The causes of unsustainability in the society vary depending on several issues. One of the most important problems regarding sustainability is the population growth in the society. Today, the world has close to seven billion people; the number is slowly increasing and is expected to hit ten billion in the coming years. Thus, it is important that communities reorganize their resources so that they can effectively meet the problem of growing population in their countries. The second cause relates to the unrestricted number of resources present in the world. These resources have continuously decreased since the majority in the society opt to misuse most of these resources (Lafferty, 2014). They do this knowing quite well that there are not enough resources in the country or community to support all human activities (Lafferty, 2014). Pollution and the destruction of natural ecosystems have ensured that the amount of the resources that remain in the world continuously decreases as time goes by.
The issues that relate to sustainability are classified based on ecological, social or economic needs of the society. One serious problem has been the depletion of resources in the earth’s crust. Some of these materials such as natural gas, oil, and other heavy metals have been extracted from the environment without anybody giving prior thought to any sustainable principle (Lafferty, 2014). This has made these resources quite unaffordable for most people in the society. Human beings destroy the environment because they want to use the products made in the environment for economic purposes (Roseland, 2012). Most products from the earth surface have high prices in the market. This is the main reason as to why many people are keen on exploiting some of these resources without showing any intent to stop such behaviors. The society itself does not advocate for the preservation of the above-mentioned resources. In some cases, social factors have played an important role in pushing more people towards the depletion of resources in the society. Some of the barriers in the preservation of various resources have significantly destroyed the environment. Some communities still do not believe that preservation of the environment is an important aspect of sustainability.
The Natural Step System for Sustainability refers to one of the methods used to ensure that the environment is safe and clean for all individuals in the society. In this environment, people ensure that certain effects do not take shape in the environment. People ensure that the amount of carbon (iv) oxide and other poisonous gases is not increasing, and the concentration of substances such as endocrine disruptors is not on the rise. They also ensure that degradation of natural covers through processes such as deforestation and other human-related activities is not taking place. This system also ensures that people in the society do not face obstacles to health or any other competence.
Most of the energy resources currently used by various families come from one of the towns under study. For example, drinking water comes from a borehole which is considered a natural source of water. Initially, such systems were not available; thus, people were forced to walk for long distances to look for water. There is also a huge problem when it comes to garbage collection since the local dump has peeled off rivers. Some individuals hav used this information to plant vegetables across the rivers that have been peeled off. This is one of the ways in which people in communities ensure that the environment is conserved. The surrounding air is very clean, and there is no reason for individuals to claim that there is increased pollution (Rae & Bradley, 2012). Most houses stand in areas that were initially considered as hot springs; therefore, most houses have an autonomous heating system meaning that houses do not need to heat water before using it in various processes related to conserving the environment (Lafferty, 2014). The town is not polluted.
Smart growth framework is one of the modest growth theories that can describe the above area more effectively. This theory utilizes land development organization which focuses on using efficient methods in conserving the environment. The framework proposes several important aspects ensuring that the existing environment remains suitable for the growth of human activities (Lafferty, 2014). It places emphasis on housing opportunities, preserving natural places, compact building designs, creating a variety of areas that could be used for transportation as well as collaboration with all members of the society to achieve goals of keeping the environment cleaner than before. The framework which places emphasis on smart growth has positive effects on the economy of the land and improves the ecological value of the land in the society (Rae & Bradley, 2012). These two sustainable factors have the ability to control resources in the environment and prevent them from any form of depletion. Smart growth theory is also transit-oriented meaning that it incorporates measures that address the current situations that affect the environment. However, not everyone has the same views when it comes to the use of smart growth strategies in the management of the environment (Lafferty, 2014). Some purport that the strategy has failed to solve all issues related to sustainability in the environment. Other issues facing the above strategies have been the assumption that the strategy aims only at the minor issues related to the environment.
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Sustainability Efforts at Oregon State University
Student’s sustainability initiatives in Oregon state university are based on three main pillars. First, students have instituted campaign known as Growing Food Security that aims at increasing the amount of naturally produced food in the society. Secondly, the students also initiated another campaign known as Climate Neutral 2025 which aims at reducing the use of carbon-based products in the market. The third initiative is Living Laboratory where students will develop new innovative products together with other partners.
The first project under SSI is known as the Sustainability Festival, which involves sustainability-related practices. There are several important teams or groups each with sustainable concepts. The festival will involve the development of alternative forms of energy by groups such as Solar Vehicle Team and Organic Growers. The latter group will focus mainly on the production of food from natural products. Another group known as Waste Watchers will come up with effective methods of controlling waste. All these practices are important because they decrease the amount of waste present in the environments. The second project is known as Coffee Mug Pledge where individuals in the school setting volunteer and give out free re-useable coffee mugs to ensure effectivve waste control in the environment. The project aims at reducing the number of disposed coffee mugs in the society.
Using the above information on the importance of sustainability in the society, a project connected with renewable energy production seems to be the most feasible. In this case, solar energy remains one of the kinds of renewable energy that will be keenly looked at. More essentially, it is worth considering the use of solar powered channels as a source of electricity for the neighboring community bordering the school incorporates all ideas related to sustainability.
The solar-based panels will reduce the dependence on the individual community on electricity generated through the use of carbon-based fuels which are predominantly used in electricity production. The solar-based panels will be delivered for free to individual communities in the society. The panels, when installed on the rooftop, have the ability to capture solar energy and convert it to electrical energy for use in the house setting.
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This project takes care of all individuals in the society. The cost of electricity is quite high making it one of the most expensive bills to pay. In most cases, people are required to pay their bills on a monthly basis. The bills skyrocket depending on the amount of fuel used in the production process. As a result, electricity divides the society into those who can pay and those who cannot afford it. Solar-based panels solve the above problem in a more effective manner. They do not require monthly charges; therefore, all individuals in the society can easily afford this source of energy (Roseland, 2012).
The use of solar-based panels will significantly improve the ecosystem. Electricity produced through the use of carbon fuels has been destroying the environment for a long time. The replacement of such form of energy with alternative forms would help protect the environment. Essentially, this would protect the environment from further damage since the use of carbon-based fuels will be reduced. Economically, the cost of producing electric power will be lower. Solar-based energy production of electricity is cheaper compared to carbon-based fuel. The solar panels would not require monthly payments since once they have been installed, they directly use solar power present in the environment (Roseland, 2012). Major costs in the transportation and delivery of power will also be reduced considering that power lines and grid lines are commonly used to transport power.
Similar projects have been conducted in other areas with great success. Two examples are provided. The first one involves the use of solar panels to provide lighting in areas out of town. One of the places is a natural park located in the forestlands. The park serves to protect wild animals and keep the environment natural. In this place, solar panels have been used to provide lighting and manage all the operations of the park. In the second case, solar-based panels have been used in developing countries especially in rural areas where there are no electricity lines (Warburton, 2013). The rural areas light up with electricity from the panels in similar ways as the city. The above two projects used small solar panels. My project aims at using large-size solar panels that retain significantly more power meaning that electricity can be used for more hours as compared to the other sources of solar energy.
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