If A Tree “Grows” in the Woods…
If a tree takes 20 years to grow in the woods but nobody is around to see it, is it helping the planet? What if a person spends 20 years planting trees but the environment is still deteriorating regionally how can they know their efforts are worth the time, devotion, and dedication required? Logically, it makes sense that spending 20 years cultivating vegetation would help but environmental statistics are so broad based it’s hard to say if one person is truly having an impact.
According to a Pew Research study in 2017, seventy-five percent of Americans want to see a larger movement to protect the environment, but how can they measure their own abilities to help out? Is the low chance of seeing positive large scale results the reason why most people never fully prioritize greener practices?
The Power of One?
Beyond being a habitual recycler, or owning solar panels, or policing the thermostat – how much are you really helping the environment? This question can be disheartening. Despite your personal effort, large scale environmental problems continue to grow and it begins to feel like a lost cause.
A Simple Solution
The solution is as simple as being able to determine specifically the impact you have as an individual, a company, or a conglomerate on the environment. It’s common to track and monitor physical health, now consider doing the same for environmental health.
Take buildings for example, “Buildings count for 40% of the climate change emissions and are the fastest growing source of emissions” (Yale Environment 360). How can a building prove it is operating efficiently? They could SAY a lot of different things but how do they KNOW? How can it be measured and verified?
Tools to Consider if You Want to KNOW
Measurement for an individual person is still in the developmental stages:
- LYRA: AI tracker that measures environmental efficiency for you, currently being developed in Australia
- Ducky: A social media like challenge that allows users to see who can achieve better results but must be set up by a company or organization that pays for the program in order for an individualto participate.
For commercial real estate…
- The Indoor Weather Report. A matrix of small wireless sensors that detect voltage, temperature, humidity, water, lights, etc. A real-time tool that helps building managers pinpoint their energy problems and track the results.
3rd Party Certifications
Each certification has it’s own energy requirements and building managers can decide which application will best reflects their effort. Some of the most popular options:
- ENERGY STAR
- Living Building Challenge
- WELL Building Standard
- BOMA 360
- Green Globes
- Parksmart (for parking garages)
- Zero Tool
*Want to get certified but don’t have the time to complete the application. ECC can do it for you.