There are a number of policies and incentives set in place by government agencies and conservation groups that are intended to secure the future of our water supplies. These are useful initiatives. There are also increasingly more unified efforts to protect and preserve our natural resources. One example is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system.
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system. The five main areas of efficiency and conservation that the system focuses on are energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The program was developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and can be applied to commercial and residential buildings. LEED practices can be used in all stages of the project – from planning and construction to operating and maintaining the facility.
Projects like LEED can inspire people to become more involved and interested in conservation efforts, because they provide measurable impact. Every little bit helps and the more sustainability programs there are, the better the chance of people everywhere adopting the core behaviors that will lead to change. Continue to shut the water off when brushing your teeth, purchase and install water-saving devices and appliances, replace wasteful irrigation practices with drip systems. But don’t stop there. Visit the school in the next neighborhood, the community golf course, the sports stadium and the apartment buildings that are going green, and see what possibilities exist and how you can help make the changes that will impact our future.