In my spare time, I was rummaging through the little nooks and crannies of the internet and stumbled across a place called Masdar city. Here is a city that seems to have been dragged out of the pages of science fiction. In the year 2006, someone thought it would be a good idea to plan out a completely green city with no carbon footprint. Funny story, they actually managed to translate this dream to reality. Masdar City is an $18,000,000,000 example of the future for humanity. It is located near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates with a current population of about 1,000 people. Over the next few years it is estimated that the population will rise to near 10,000 people. A small number compared to other major cities, but in the same way that a tortoise will outrun a hare, Masdar will endure.
What does this mean for the future of humanity? There has been growing concern about our reliance on fossil fuels and non-renewable resources. This city is proof that there are effective alternatives. Conversely, this city is also shows the steep cost behind such a venture. $18 billion is not exactly pocket money and with the general crowd opposed to excess expense, a shift to these cities is still distant. Masdar City is like a star in the night sky; it is a bright glimmer in an ever-expanding sea of darkness.
Today is EARTH DAY! Every year on April 22 Earth day is celebrated. The whole idea behind Earth Day is if the public could get energized and excited about air and water pollution that would in turn energize more people around the world. As a result each year millions of Americans take the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate healthy, sustainable ways of living. Earth Day is a great way to challenge the environmental community to convey knowledge to those who may be in the dark and show those who don’t know the little steps that help one live a more sustainable life.
This year on the Lehigh Campus, like years before, Lehigh is hosting a Earth Day fair where organizations around campus set up tables showing people ways to live a more sustainable lifestyles, educating people on new technologies that have been created and fun games that promote sustainable practices.
What can you do? There are little and big things an individual can do to make a difference. From buying solar panels and constructing LEED certified buildings to recycling and reusing your plastic bottles one can make a difference. It is much easier to do small things so here is a list of easy things to do:
1. Switch your light bulbs to compact florescent light bulbs
2. Plant a tree or two
3. Turn off your lights
4. Unplug your chargers (they are using electricity even if your phone isn’t plugged in)
5. Carry your own reusable water bottle
and there are many more. Make a change and make a difference!