Sustainable communities are residences, businesses, and even entire towns or cities designed or modified to emphasize green living and the use of renewable environmentally safe technology. In the wake of climate change and the loss of natural resources due to human use, sustainable communities aim to reduce pollution and promote a green existence. While not every community can afford to completely convert to sustainable living, most can manage to increase sustainable living with a few simple, basic changes and additions.
The backbone of sustainable communities is renewable resources. Many green-focused communities run at least partially on solar energy or another renewable source. Most sustainable homes use energy-efficient appliances, such as low-flush toilets. Additionally, for a community to be considered sustainable, there is typically an element of community-based activities, such as shared organic gardens or recycling programs. By working together, a community can take shared pride and fellowship in their contributions to a cleaner, greener world.
Some world governments have placed money and effort into fostering sustainable communities through tax breaks, initiatives, and funded studies. Many experts suggest that sustainability is key to continued human survival, and will help to end the cycle of overuse and environmental consequences that have existed since the Industrial Revolution. People interested in building or creating a sustainable community may want to contact their local government authorities to see what programs are in place to help green-minded citizens.
Modifying an existing community to become sustainable can be a matter of a few large changes or many small, incremental shifts. Large changes include the installation of solar panels, water rationing, and ensuring that all future buildings meet sustainable requirements. Small changes are much easier to handle and can even be fun to implement. Building a community garden, featuring recycling drives, and even cleaning up litter in the local area can all help a community become more sustainable.
Many people find that, when trying to convince others of the importance of sustainability, it can help to focus on the personal benefits such a lifestyle can bring. By implementing energy saving techniques, such as wrapping water heaters in insulating blankets and using low-energy light bulbs, residents can see significant drops in utility bills. Planting a common-use garden takes effort and time, but provides exercise and community-building opportunities as well as fresh produce all year around.
Possibly the most important benefit of sustainable communities is their potential to affect others. Growing up in a sustainable society may imprint the values of renewable practices and responsible action in children and young people. By taking advantage of green trends, people have the opportunity to teach the benefits of sustainable living.