Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd. This annual awareness day is a reminder for all of us in the construction industry to protect Ohio as we build Ohio. After all, the future of our state is in our hands. The International Energy Agency found that the buildings and construction sector make up more than a third of total energy use. Not only that, the International Energy Agency also reports that our industry generates nearly 40% of total carbon emissions. Given these findings, it’s clear that we have the power to make an impact on our local communities and the world with every project.
This year’s Earth Day theme “Invest in Our Planet” is a real motivator for us and our fellow construction industry members to devote our time and resources to making a difference as we work on every project. In honor of Earth Day, we invite you to join us in three meaningful actions you can make today.
Prioritize cleaner waste removal
It’s no secret that construction sites generate a lot of waste. From demolition debris to chemical residue, excess is inevitable as we create the places our neighbors live and work. While we can’t prevent waste, we can find ways to divert it away from landfills. It takes careful planning to devise strategies to reuse and recycle useful materials, but it’s always worth the effort. Our favorite strategy? Selling reclaimed materials. As you clear out the construction site, you will bring in extra income for the business.
As you establish sustainable practices, don’t let preventable everyday waste build up, too. It’s important to keep the construction site and surrounding areas clear of all garbage, including lunchtime leftovers. Not only should clean trash receptacles be available, we also recommend office break rooms and jobsite trailers include recycling bins to make recycling a habit, rather than a hindrance.
Stick to green building practices
Not only should your jobsite be clean, the buildings you’re creating should be, too. Clean, sustainable building is becoming commonplace as awareness spreads and interest increases. We’re seeing everything from hay bales being used in insulation and paper pulp being used to create concrete, to hybrid equipment and fully electric machines that create quieter job sites as well as environmentally friendly, cost-saving projects.
And, since green buildings run more efficiently, the impact of your actions will compound for years to come. When done right, there are long-term savings on energy bills, water and gas usage. Educate yourself about LEED Certifications and green building processes so your company can stay competitive to meet this growing demand.
Make an impact with sustainable materials
Concrete may be the most used building material in the world, but it also leaves a large carbon footprint and leads to many problems. Sand shortages and black-market sand deals have made concrete one of the most controversial building materials. When possible, seek out recycled materials like wood, brick and stone, or even cross-laminated timber, which has been growing in popularity.
The future of our state is in our hands. Together, we can protect Ohio.