Green Parenting: Sustainable Living
In one of the most encouraging statistics I’ve heard in a long time, humans only inhabit around 3% of the Earth’s land. That means there is another 26% of the land left uninhabited. If you live in densely populated areas of the world, you may feel like there is nowhere left to go, but alas there is!
Now what we do with this uninhabited land is what I want to talk about today. I came across this amazing community in Georgia called Serenbe (profiled in the New York Times, CNN, Wall Street Journal and more). Serenbe is a 1000-acre sustainable community that prides itself upon being “a national model for the future of balanced development in the U.S.—focusing on land preservation, agriculture, energy efficiency, green building, walkability, high density building, arts and culture, and community living for multiple generations.”
So this got me thinking, what exactly is sustainable living? Here is what I found defines a truly sustainable community:
- LEED-certified homes
- At least 75% open space in the town.
- Town services are within walking distance of the town’s homes.
- Nearby access to public transportation.
- Solar heating/cooling.
- Local fresh foods must be within walking distance (including neighborhood farms and gardens; community-supported agriculture; proximity to farmers market).
- Landscaping is planted with native or adaptive species.
- Retain, infiltrate, and/or harvest stormwater and greywater on site.
- Install or retrofit water-conserving fixtures.
- Use ENERGY STAR appliances, heating/cooling equipment, lighting, roofing, etc.
- Low/No VOC Paints and Primers.
- Building materials that are composed of at least 50% post-industrial recycled content.
- For more criteria, visit this extensive checklist.
Sounds heavenly to me! It’s my hope that as our population continues to grow and as we build new communities, we can use these standards as our guide.
To check out more about green/sustainable villages popping up all over the world, read these for more information:
- Green Eco Communities
- Partnership for Sustainable Communities
Green Parenting is published every Friday.
For questions, please email Elise Jones.