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Environmental Crisis. Opinion II

There are several activities to try out. This article is the second part of Environmental Crisis Opinion, it contains a few more proposals about projects which I find interesting for communities engaged on developing their own sustainability and environmental protection.

WARNING most projects proposed here require advanced level of organization and specific professional skills. A high level of commitment is advised for those willing to direct any of them.

Projects

Implement a sharing system based on internet, gathering specific applications tailored for the specific needs of your community, either by developing the apps your selves, or, by developing partnerships with another developer.

Sharing is a path to take advantage of different resources that lie underused within the community. It allows the borrower to have a specific resource without the need of owning it, having the service he or she needs for a set amount of time, the lender benefits by providing certain goods or services at a rate which is less than that of owning them.

Sharing promotes reuse of resources and reduction of residues. These two activities are at the core of controlling residues generation and the volume of those which goes to the landfills

  • Organize one or several groups of people who would like to share.
    • Sharing is the “new” way of improving your life quality, in times of financial crisis. Groups of people allow systems of trust, where interactions between members, are tracked, and, scored, encouraging interaction with high scoring people, promoting sharing itself, strengthening bonds among the community.
    • Organization of, sharing options and groups was made possible by working with tools provided by new technologies, especially social networks tools and framework.
  • Look for the sharing services you need, if they exist already; make a deal with the provider so he or she understands, you are a group of people willing to use their service.
    • Having an organized group might enhance the odds you have to reach a deal with business and other organizations, by making desirable for them, to make deals with your group.
    • Make a list with the needs you have, explore all possible solutions, appoint some people to connect with others and look after each solution. Do not be shy, negotiate all possible deals, and, find what is best for you, it might be surprising to know, how much your organization and the other party win, with each deal you close.
  • Rate the services you got.
    • Share your experiences with members of your community, and, do not forget to include people, and, groups outside your own.
    • While rating services, you provide valuable information to the rated entity, by letting them know how to improve their service; to people in general, feeding them with valuable information about services available; and, to your community, by strengthening bounds between it, and, the provider.

If you keep all these goals in mind, you will provide a polite and trustable review.

  • Make a plan to improve the service, contact your provider to propose new ideas for their service.
    • Keep your bonds with other members of the sharing economy in good shape, it will only be in your best interest, to grow all together, while finding ways to make development really sustainable.
  • You could always try new tailored services with developers willing to get involved with new projects.
    • If you are looking for a service, and, you could not find it available, chances are, you are not the only one. Explore the sharing community, to find ways to provide the new service, again, enlarging the sharing economy will be better for everyone.

Produce awareness campaigns for the 3R's towards zero waste (The three R's are; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle).

In the European Union (EU) alone, zero waste, could reduce about 150 Mt of equivalent CO21).

Zero waste is a goal for modern society to deal with an important portion of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Waste related emissions acount for nearly 2.5% of the total in the U.S.2)

  • Propose a media campaign to raise awareness on the 3R's.
    • Zero waste cannot be achieved without the support of the people who lives in the area.
    • The most difficult goal to achieve towards zero waste, is public awareness and involvement, changing people's mind to accept more household work, represents a significant challenge.
    • Media power, could tip the balance to the campaign side, winning people's trust to make the project a reality. A campaign showing the benefits of the zero waste efforts MUST follow to keep the community interested and maintain their efforts towards the ultimate goal.
  • Direct several advertisement campaigns towards several audiences, make an effort to stress the benefits.
    • Society is an amalgam of several groups with different interests each, this reality must work in the best interest of the project, while keeping the campaign goals the main priority.
  • Do direct measurement of the campaign success through real time assessment of social networks.
    • The impact the campaign is having in the community must be judged, to follow the most effective and cheaper path towards success. Social networks have several tools that allow for real time assessment.

Create goals towards efficient use of goods among the community, have rewards set for those citizens who achieve the objectives.

  • Find definitions for a common measuring systems, put the goals in the same terms as those used by the international agencies and offices (i.e. Greenhouse Gases emission, kilograms of resources saved, kilograms of residues not generated, financial value of sharing and swapping per capita, etc…).
    • Standardized systems of measure are needed to set common goals keeping track of their progressive achievements through milestones.
    • Communication via common milestones allows, shared interests, and shared accomplishment.
  • Encourage swapping goods among citizens.
    • Setting standard ways to measure community development is a step towards organizing people around the main project of social development, making it easier to promote the sharing economy.
  • Hold auctions with donated goods to raise funds for your organization.
    • Collect goods from sharing and swapping enthusiasts, sell them to the community through auction; use the resources to set start the organization. Publish the auction, the goals and the results for the rising funds campaign.
    • Fund rising events are a good way to gather publicity for your project.
  • Make partnerships with non-profit organizations.
    • Connecting with other organizations could provide knowledge and support to your group.
    • Chosen carefully non-profit organizations could be source of prestige, public recognition to your group and project.
  • Donate stuff from the auctions or other collection efforts to communities other than yours.
    • Spread sharing and swapping philosophy.
  • Reward outstanding citizens publicly, in a big event, call the media. The reward does not have to be that big (i.e. 500,000 devcoins maybe?).
    • Keep records about goal achievement, set personal goals and keep individuals interested by giving them prizes for reaching specific milestones.
    • Include some way, to make public recognition known to the society at large.
  • Make partnership with an academic institution, which cares about the environment.
    • Research to specific parts of your sharing system could be known to scholars around the world.
    • Benefit from evidence gathered around the world, discussion about it, first hand conclusions about development, sharing and the environment.
  • Propose a project of distributed emissions reduction.
    • Use standard measuring system to set a strategy towards achieving this goal.
  • Gather government funding, or, private funding associated to emissions and/or residues reduction.
    • Another advantage of a standard measuring system is, it allows better communication of your goals and objectives to the government and organizations, is possible to take advantage of this, to apply for further funding and emissions trading.
  • Get an official agency to recognize your project.
    • Once again, this system allows for easier communication of your plans and achievements. Document and present them to gather official recognition for your efforts; this will boost both confidence and spirits within the community.

Propose and push an emissions trade project, and, hold community based shares.

This might not be a project to try when you are just starting, but, definitely you want to keep it in mind as long term development for your community.

  • Propose a distributed emissions reduction project.
    • Once you have transformed your effort to some sort of units that can be reported to other parties or organizations, you could propose a serious emissions project.
    • Distributed emissions are the shadow of all our activities in society, usually they are not targeted by big emissions saving projects since they are really difficult to demonstrate.
  • Find methodologies to measure the impact your activities have on emissions reduction.
    • Have a look to the library of science supported methodologies at the UNFCCC for examples of them.
  • Validate your calculations and measures with a certified employee from a recognized agency.
    • Sustainable development projects, should consider distributed or shadow emissions, as the ultimate goal. Consider the successful application of this project your ultimate test.
  • Trade your emissions reductions in some of the available markets.
    • Calculating distributed emissions could be a hard task which involves organized recording, statistics, plus applying some technical assumptions, all of these need some degree of expertise.
    • Emissions reductions are traded in stocks market, it is best if you have professional help and/or advises for this.
  • Generate and distribute shares on the project among the people who are reducing emissions. You could also distribute shares among people funding the project, and people providing their expertise to improve the project; this could make it easier to further develop your project.
    • This could be a great way to keep interest and support in your sustainable development project.
    • Keeping regular updates on these results, will remember people how their effort has helped the community and changed their lives

Propose a permanent program to asses, and, control pollution on the watershed you live in.

This is really the ultimate goal of sustainable development for communities. Watersheds are divided by geographic boundaries which keep ecological communities apart from each other, keeping them in good shape is the best result to judge sustainable development.

  • Find about local organizations for this purpose, and, rally around them.
    • Watershed is the place with recognizable boundaries, in which a set of conditions are kept so biological communities are able to live and thrive within. Governments and organizations keep a close eye on them usually.
  • Find more about your watershed and spread the information.
    • Watersheds are monitored constantly by government agencies and environmental organizations, usually you can find reliable and updated information about them.
  • Gather government funding for your project.
    • Sustainable development and protection of the watersheds should be part of your government programs, when you have a strong organization, a scientifically supported project should be able to gather funds you need to protect the watershed and develop your community.
  • Propose partnerships with academic groups or educational institutions.
    • The expertise you need could be found among academic institutions.
  • Find discharge streams which, pollute your watershed.
    • Polluted streams have the higher priority for watershed environmental protection, since they reach most of the area, and, collect pollutants from distributed sources; keeping them watched, is the best way to be up to date with the main pollution problems in your ecosystem.
  • Find about remediation technologies for streams and/or watersheds. Select those with higher benefit to the environment, propose them for funding to government agencies.
    • If you manage to accomplish this goal, it will mean you have a really strong organization with ties to the entities you need in order to achieve big sustainability goals.

One last thing to remember is:

  • Keep everything you do documented, this way people can learn and copy your ways when they want to achieve the same goals, have advise if they want to organize better, or, know how to bond with your organization or any other.

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