Is your city going green? If not, it’s time to make that change.
Unless someone like us cares a whole awful lot; our world isn’t going to get better. It’s just not. These wise words are familiar, and the story they’re from is especially important what with our environmental situation and Earth Day coming up soon.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, it’s not going to get better. It’s not,” says the Lorax, who speaks for the trees.
The 21st century doesn’t quite have a spokesperson for the trees the way the Lorax spoke for the Truffula Trees. What we have now instead are incentives, local ordinances, and laws, emissions policies and prohibitions. Our governing bodies and authorities are trying to make sense of the damage we’ve done to our world. Fortunately this is happening before we don’t have any trees left and without the help of the Lorax.
The urban population is constantly growing, with our earth’s total population heading towards 9.7 billion by the year 2050. More than half of our world’s population lives in cities. As our population grows, the effects of climate change worsen. Our homes, cities, and lifestyles need to adapt. It’s time to invest in renewable energy, alternative energy sources, and boost the efficiency of our alternative energy production. We need to help our world transition to a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future through improvements we can make to our cars, technology, schools, homes, and more.
Metropolitan areas aren’t typically thought of as “green” areas. They aren’t typically densely populated with foliage and parks, and many of them have a long way to go before they’re considered sustainable. However there are so very many metropolitan areas of our country that deserve recognition for the strides they’re taking towards sustainability and the future of our planet.
Metropolitan areas in countries all over the world are making an effort. Reykjavik, Iceland is among them. This capital city has been putting hydrogen buses on the streets to reduce pollution. That’s not the only green stride this city has made, either. Heat and electricity in Iceland come from renewable geothermal and hydropower sources. What’s more? Iceland wants to take this a step further, and become fossil fuel free by 2050.
Another green-centric city is located just north of the United States in Vancouver, Canada. 90 percent of Vancouver’s power comes from renewable sources. This city is making efforts to use wind, solar, wave, and tidal energy to reduce their usage of fossil fuels. The biggest city in British Columbia has also works to create a 100-year plan for sustainability. Needless to say, their earth efforts are important to mention. But what about in our country?
Cities all over the United States are making solid efforts to increase their environmental sustainability. Portland, Oregon focuses on creating and cultivating green spaces in metropolitan areas. It’s also one of the first U.S. cities to create a full, comprehensive plan to reduce CO2 emissions. California is also home to many cities making energy forward strides. San Francisco is a phenomenal example. So many residents take public transportation to work, over 15 percent of the city is devoted to green space, and the city has banned items like kids’ toys that have chemicals in the plastic makeup.
Earth Day is an annual reminder that we can all be doing more to help our environment. Change starts small, with one person. And unless someone like us cares a whole awful lot, our world isn’t going to get better, it’s just not. These cities show a very commendable start!