Could we have become so desensitized to the fact that something as natural to us as building a house and living in it can have such an effect on the environment?
It’s not uncommon for an environment-focused website to delve into the major forms of pollution. In spreading awareness, we are able to help pave the way for the powers that be to take an introspective approach on how they do things.
An age-old narrative has been one of how we often develop technological advancements at the expense of the environment. But we would never think that we may actually be at a point where we are constantly causing harm to the environment even as we go through our daily routines. Home construction and occupation create pollution in the forms of:
According to a report from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, about 548 million metric tons of construction-related and demolition-related debris are generated on an annual basis. This includes metals, asphalt, concrete, and wood. A big reason why we shouldn’t rush home improvement projects is the fact that a lot of materials end up being wasted either because or errors committed or because the materials don’t work well with each other.
While the debris generated from construction is often recycled, the facilities that process these materials also contribute to waste in the form of energy consumption. Recycling facilities are not only expensive to maintain, they also create significant levels of emissions.
A lot of modern comforts are powered by electricity and fuel. This allows for the provision of lighting, heating, and air conditioning, which all allow us to create a home or office environment that’s comfortable for us. While electricity itself is not inherently harmful to the environment, the resulting emissions like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide do significant harm to the stratospheric ozone. In order to minimize these emissions, it’s important to conserve energy as best as we can.
Any waste generated by a household is residential waste. This often includes food scraps, paper, food packaging, bottles, etc. These are often non-hazardous, but that’s only a word. The truth is that residential waste, when not managed properly, can cause all types of problems, whether it’s in how non-biodegradables hinder the growth of agriculture, how waste can block drainage systems and sewers, and even how plastics can cause harm to animals.
This is even more dangerous with old homes because there’s a really good chance that the drywall in those houses have asbestos. According to the experts, asbestos carries dangerous fibers that could cause mesothelioma, which is a form of cancer that affects the linings of the lungs, heart, and abdomen.
So, What Now?
While we agree that all forms of pollution require our attention, the factor that separates household waste from most forms of pollution is that we can make immediate changes to how we manage waste at home. Even something as simple as taking the time to segregate your trash is bound to have a huge improvement on how much waste affects the environment. The conscientious use of home appliances will also help reduce the carbon footprint of your home.
Change is not something that comes abruptly. In the same manner that it takes many years to hone your skills to become good at your craft, so, too, would it take many years for a positive change to occur in the environment. Change does not come with a thunderous boom. It comes with the mute, but eloquent sound of unwavering dedication.