November 4th will be a day that will, hopefully, go down in history as the day that humanity changed it’s ways, the day we took responsibility for all the damage we have done to our planet and started taking steps to “build a global renewable energy industry, clean up existing power, production, construction and agricultural sectors and re-engineered societies to be more resilient to the climate impacts already in the system”.
As a Civil and Environmental Engineer, I am committed to push our firm for a more social conscious design. At MASON Design and Development we use five principles in our design process:
- Local Sourcing. When you buy local, not only are you reducing the carbon footprint but you are also contributing to the local economy.
- Responsible Purchasing. Not only is it important to source locally but it is also critical as designers to do our research and understand the production practices that our vendors use. Look for vendors that use local materials and produce using energy efficient practices.
- Re-use. As a Ralph Lauren alumni I already tend to look for vintage pieces that can bring history and character to every space we design. When it comes to sustainability practices, re-using and re-purposing furniture and construction materials is one of the most efficient ways to design in a sustainable way.
- Technology. We are living at a time when technology allows us to create more comfortable and energy efficient environments. From green insulation to energy efficient light bulbs, renewable energy sources and reducing construction waste, we now have the technology for a less impactful real estate development.
- Quality. One of the best ways to design responsible is to purchase furniture and construction materials that will stand the pass of time.
Hoteliers and Real Estate Developers have a very important role to play in sustainability. It is not only important for them to implement sustainable construction and design practices but to help educate guests and clients on sustainability. The implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement is definitely a sign of hope but we all have a responsibility to make changes.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations said, “Planet Earth is just a small boat. And if it sinks, we will all sink together”. This are simple but powerful words sure to set the tone for Leonardo DiCaprio’s new documentary Before The Flood. This documentary shows what we have done to our planet in the past fifty years and how our decision to exploit fossil fuels has been in part responsible for global warming. The documentary also tackles the reality of how big corporations are stopping progress on this front.
We are all responsible to make a change, and this change starts at home. Small changes in our every day routine can be a big impact in the environment. Stop the use of plastic bags and reduce the amount of packaged goods we consume, even by reducing the amount of beef we eat, we can contribute to a better planet. The point is, we need to educate ourselves and do what we can.
At MASON D+D we understand that as designers and developers, we have a big responsibility to implement sustainable practices and educate our clients on this matter.