The earth is a common home we share; survival and development rely heavily on the environment that surrounds us. However, as human needs are constantly growing and technology is rapidly advancing, environmental resources become limited.
Put simply, the earth cannot continue growing to support our evolving needs. And while our developments should be supported in the long-term, future generations must understand that support can only be done within the current means. In other words, we must use the resources we have wisely, carefully, and responsibly.
Ash Gujral is the founder of the Gujral Community Fund, a San Francisco-based charity that contributes to housing and childhood development and nourishment. In particular, he is very passionate about sustainable housing. He provides an overview and discusses the need for more sustainable housing into 2021.
Sustainable development and housing involve utilizing natural resources in the construction and development of housing and other eco-friendly buildings in an effort to reduce carbon footprint. Ideally, eco-friendly homes and buildings are designed to produce their own energy through solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal sources, while strong insulation ensures consistent indoor temperature throughout the year. Rather than using concrete, sustainable homes and buildings are constructed using more environmentally friendly materials like wood, bamboo, earthbags, and even straw — a common development practice used by people of the distant past.
Additionally, some sustainable homes include dwellings that collect rain and reuse it for laundry and other cleaning purposes. And, the introduction of smart home heating and cooling devices has allowed homes to become even more energy-efficient, which can cut energy bills by an average of 30%.
When it comes to constructing sustainable homes and buildings, you may think of it as a costly endeavor. However, eco-friendly building options don’t’ have to break the bank, notes Ash Gujral. Because many materials are locally available, labor costs are drastically cut down. More importantly, home and building owners will benefit from better air quality, consistent indoor temperature, and lower (and less expensive) maintenance requirements. Plus, they’ll provide significant importance in the global mission of protecting the environment.
Ash Gujral on the Need for Sustainable Housing in 2021
As we enter 2021, sustainable housing options shouldn’t be overlooked. With sustainability becoming a popular trend, more and more people are investing in the eco-building market. In fact, a survey conducted by the market research company IRI shows that 72% of Europeans “prefer to buy products of those companies that respect the environment.” Additionally, millennial Americans — today’s vast majority of homebuyers — are changing their purchasing behaviors to that of more sustainable options.
Changing the way we develop is an important step in the right direction for future generations and the overall health of our environment and the need for sustainable homes in 2021 is vastly growing. Ash Gujral, founder, and president of the Gujral Community Fund highlights the benefits of sustainable housing and other eco-friendly buildings.
Improved Air Quality
Sustainable developers are conscious of reducing their carbon footprint with everything they do. This includes using environmentally friendly paints, adhesives, sealants, and other materials that give off fewer chemical emissions.
Not only is using sustainable products good for the environment, but it’s also good for the people, as breathing these toxic chemicals can pose serious health hazards or aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma and indoor allergies. Sustainable homes also use cleaner ventilation systems that improve indoor air quality and make it easier to breathe altogether.
Sustainable development ensures efficient use of water and energy, reducing costs for the homeowner altogether, says Ash Gujral. For example, enhanced natural daylight throughout the home, solar heating, and environmentally friendly lighting are just a few of the money-saving options a sustainable homeowner will see.
Sustainable homes and buildings are also extremely durable, meaning a homeowner will spend less money over time on home improvement, maintenance, and repairs. Above all, the very definition of sustainability is “something that lasts,” which is great news for its overall lifespan and durability.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Sustainable homes can drastically reduce environmental footprint, says Ash Gujral. They offer a sustainable substitution from the first phase of development, which generally wears, is thrown out into landfills, and eventually, replaced. Building practices in sustainable development; however, achieve efficient use and are built with the intention of reducing energy consumption.
Increased Property Value
As mentioned, the environmentally-conscious trend for sustainable development has transformed market value and more homebuyers are seeing the enormous investment potential. Recently, industry studies suggest that green homes result in higher resale values because of their promising assets, resulting in greater demand and therefore selling much faster than their non-sustainable counterparts.
Connection to Nature
Have you ever taken note of how you feel when you’re surrounded by nature? You’re probably relaxed and refreshed, right? We all know that a connection to nature is great for de-stress and calming the mind and as Ash Gujral explains, it also has a scientifically proven impact on our health, happiness, and overall well-being.
Not only will you feel good about purchasing a sustainable home for the positive impacts it has on the environment, but you’ll also reap the health benefits of being connected to nature. Renewable homes and buildings often try to reduce energy consumption by bringing the outside in through additional windows and strategically placed skylights. So, even if you’re inside, you’ll feel closer to the outside, soaking up the beauty of nature and the beneficial health effects of natural light.
Building a Sustainable Future
As the benefits of sustainable housing show, we must effectively meet all their present needs without depleting resources and harming the environment. Ash Gujral explains how sustainable housing and other eco-friendly buildings use unique construction techniques that ensure natural resources are used efficiently and responsibly while not compromising the health and comfort of humankind.
Building a sustainable future starts now — it will, in the long run, save money, improve health, and help conserve the environment for both current and future generations.