Sustainability and its Challenges

­Its often difficult to grasp the understanding of how just one person can impact the environment. I suppose coming from California has really given me an eye opening experience of just how bad the drought is out there, and from living through it for so many years, I now subconsciously make wiser decisions when its come to water use, even here in Chicago.  This is helpful in the long run as my small way to help prevent any droughts like the one in 2012.  As for transportation to school, one way I can contribute in a small but useful way is by riding my bike when I can. I would love to do this. However, I do fear frequently that my bike would get stolen, especially on those days when I’m in school for the majority of the day.  I think a great way to combat this fear is my having Divvy bike stations set up around campus.

I think one of the challenges to come for Chicago and here at UIC as far as becoming more sustainable is the amount of older buildings we have, as well as the amount of money to be spent on making them sustainable. Older buildings take up more energy than, obviously, those that are “going green”. Take for instance the UH building at UIC, This is an incredibly old building, which is easily seen by the concrete debris falling onto the permanent scaffolding. The building uses much more energy than say Douglas Hall, and will take a tremendous amount of time and money to re-design and make more efficient.

As far as energy usage in Chicago goes, I personally think it’s a great idea to have a Smart Grid; allowing myself and others to be more aware of how much energy is being used at certain peak hours of the day. On a few of UIC’s buildings are virtual meters where students can see the energy usage of each building compared to others around it.

 

Divvy on Campus.  Source: UIC Office of Sustainability

Divvy on Campus.
Source: UIC Office of Sustainability

Sources:

“National Climate Assessment.” National Climate Assessment. Web. 29 Jan. 2016. <http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/regions/midwest&gt;.

Week two class slideshows

Campbell, Ian, and Koben Calhoun. “Old Buildings Are U.S. Cities’ Biggest Sustainability Challenge.” Harvard Business Review. 2016. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

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One thought on “Sustainability and its Challenges

  1. I believe the water drought could have been prevented. I think it came down to a political thing mixed with lack of preciptation in the end. However, I think you saw first hand how precious water is as a resource. We take for granted having clean water at our will. There are over 600 million people without access to clean water.

    UH is a terrible building, but it seems to cost a lot of money to make green buildings. When the lady came in from the office of sustainability. She made it seem like GH, DH, and LH ended up costing more than projected. I didn’t know they had to replace the solar panels every so often.

    I think it’s great you DIVY to school and save water. We as individuals might not even make a dent, but the more we lead by example. The better outcome we have on impacting change.

    Like

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