Faith for Earth, plus building Dialog with wood, and Project Green Hands!
Faith for Earth, Building Dialog with Wood, Project Green Hands!
ISHA FOUNDATION’S “PROJECT GREEN HANDS”
This is a fascinating program I discovered while researching another story. It’s called Project GreenHands (PGH) is a grassroots ecological initiative established by Isha Foundation, which aims to take corrective measures to increase the green cover, restore soil health and manage natural resources appropriately.
PGH is involved in an array of rural and urban greening campaigns across South India. And while it’s in South India, it’s a program that is probably replicable in many communities throughout the US and Canada.
Like always, the best programs start with education. Project Green Hands starts at the most fundamental level. It starts with building environmental knowledge in the child participants. The goal is to create the next generation of ecologically citizens who will be more aware of the role trees play in everybody’s life.
What’s striking about Isha Foundation’s PGH program is the emphasis on both practicality and spirituality. As the Indian Mystic, Sadhguru, of the Isha Foundation says, “Trees keep our lives going, just like the outer part of our lungs. You cannot ignore your body if you want to live, and in no way is the planet different from this. What you call ‘my body’ is just a piece of this planet. And the very essence of the spiritual process is about just this.”
PROJECT “FAITH FOR EARTH” FROM THE UNITED NATIONS
According to the United Nations, SPIRITUAL values for more than 80% of people living on earth have been driving individual behaviors. In many countries, spiritual beliefs and religions are main drivers for cultural values, social inclusion, political engagement, and economic prosperity.
Following a series of initiatives and conventions organized in partnership with faith-based organizations, UNEP launched the Faith for Earth Initiative in November 2017. The mission of the initiative is, “To encourage, empower and engage with faith-based organizations as partners, at all levels, toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfilling the 2030 Agenda.”
Why does this matter to us? Well, all religions agree that nature is an act of divinity and should be treated as such…Therefore Spiritual leaders at all levels are critical to the success of the global solidarity for an ethical, moral and spiritual commitment to protect the environment and God’s creation.
These leaders can become observers, make public commitments, share the story of their commitments and the challenges and joys of keeping them, and invite others to join them. In addition, they can display their sustainable behaviors, serving as role models for their followers and the public.
The Faith for Earth Initiative Strategy is based on three overarching and interlinked goals:
- Inspire and empower faith-based leaders and organizations for a sustainable impact
- Engage faith leaders and their institutions to tackle mutually prioritized issues
- Greening faith-based assets and investments
To find out more, surf on over to www.theclimate.org/episodes and check out the links at the bottom of this story.
CASTLES MADE OF SAND? NO! SKYSCRAPERS MADE FROM WOOD!
Building tall buildings out of wood instead of steel offers a lot of benefits, most notably that it considerably cuts the carbon footprint of new construction. But the properties of wood mean that 100%-wood buildings have a height limit, which limits wood as a feasible construction material.
However, a prototype from Toronto-based architecture firm Dialog gets around that by combining mass timber (solid wood panels nailed or glued together, the basis for tall wood buildings) with steel and concrete, plus solar-panel lined walls and an in-building algae bioreactor, resulting in a 105-story skyscraper that would have no carbon footprint.
Craig Applegath, Dialog’s founder, says they were inspired to create the prototype because of the “ticking time bomb of climate change,” plus the fact that wood stores carbon and, when sustainably harvested, is better for the environment than steel or concrete.
The prototype includes solar panels on three facades to generate 25% of the building’s electricity. A natural gas system provides the rest of the heat and power, but an algae bioreactor eats those carbon emissions, for a tall building that produces zero operational carbon.
Does this matter to us? Yes. As long as people gather in vertical cities, innovative building techniques in the era of climate change will become paramount. That’s why Dialog’s Wooden Skyscraper is a winner of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards.