Each month we highlight a few of the solutions to reversing climate change outlined in the book, Drawdown by Paul Hawken. Stabilizing our climate involves two types of solutions: we must reduce our use of fossil fuels, and we need to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere primarily through photosynthesis. This month’s highlights are five solutions from the Building and Cities section of the book. These are not very exciting solutions, but what matters is that these solutions are in the top 100 best intentional ways to achieve Drawdown. Drawdown is a term coined to represent the goal of actually reducing our greenhouse gases. (Note: All descriptions of the solutions are from materials provided by Pachamama Alliance.)
#27 District Heating: With district systems, a central plant channels hot and/or cool water via a network of pipes to many buildings- heating and cooling them more efficiently.
#45 Building Automation: Building automation systems serve as the ‘brain’ of large commercial buildings. Controlling temperature, lighting, and more, they can improve energy efficiency and occupants’ comfort.
#58 Landfill Methane: Landfills are a top source of thehane emissions. Instead, landfill methane can be captured, preventing emissions, and used as a fairly clean energy source.
#61 Smart Glass: Compared to walls, windows are inefficient insulators. Smart glass can respond to sunlight and weather, reducing a building’s energy load for lighting, heating, and cooling.
#73 Green Roofs: Green roofs use soil and vegetation as living insulation. Cool roofs reflect solar energy. Both reduce building energy use for heating and/or cooling. (A similar idea is the use of white roof shingles. Ask Fred Walls about his informal study of the temperature differences of using white shingles.)