Vancouver’s excessive construction is not environmentally friendly. My husband and I were traveling along Granville Street in Vancouver and couldn’t believe how many homes were slated to be torn down. Street after street we witnessed signs for future construction or the beginning of site construction. They weren’t inhabitable homes. Some were houses were large, stately and would be a dream home for past families. However, the developers and/or buyers of these homes see things differently and their desires are not just effecting the City of Vancouver, but also many communities beyond the GVRD.
Politicians talk about Green Initiatives, each district comes up with plans for Going Green and kids are taught in school about the importance of Protecting the Environment. If we take off our green coloured glasses we will see what we really are and what we have always been is wasteful.
There is so much rubble that gets taken to the dump every time one of us decides to renovate or build our dream home. With every trip a truck takes to remove or bring materials more exhaust fills the air. Some of our homes may even have asbestos so where does that go? It gets wrapped and taken to a special landfill and buried in the EARTH.
We destroy ecosystems above and below just for the perfect square footage that will accommodate our ever-expanding needs. We have not been innovative enough to consider alternatives to such destruction and developers prefer dollar signs towering in front of them over trees. In my neighbourhood opposition to construction is evident. Signs have been erected on many front lawns with a message to developers, buyers, neighbours and the city – Big Trees NOT Big Homes.
From an interior design standpoint, Home and Garden Television has opened up viewers to what is possible to have in a home. It makes many people question why they don’t have the latest and greatest already. What I have noticed is that stainless steel appliances and granite or quartz countertops have become very popular. Where do they come from?
Stainless steel is the combination of many elements found and extracted from the EARTH. It goes through an extensive process and is transported great distances before it finds its way into our home. Granite and quartz are mined and manufactured too. When I hear people complaining about mines I wonder if they thought of that before they ordered the slab of granite for their kitchen?
As we construct homes with wood, bricks and mortar while buying more creature comforts and technical devices we are making an impact on the environment. All the shipping and receiving has huge implications.
Are these the same kids that sit in these large homes with a need for the newest gadget, iPad or iPhone? Are these the happy children engaged with their plastic, glass and steel products equipped with circuit boards. When I start to see more children playing outside and noticing their surroundings instead of heads staring down at a screen then maybe I will believe our earth will be safer in the future.
Caring for our environment goes beyond putting out green boxes for food waste or blue boxes for recycling. We fill the boxes we live in with all of the mined and grown stuff we can muster. Our need to build and move to larger boxes should be a good enough indication that it is in our nature to want more.
There are large numbers of individuals and communities that are not so eco-friendly and I just think we should be more honest about that.