Carbon footprints point toward an increase in the emission of CO2 or carbon dioxide. It is often considered to include several greenhouse gases as well. The greenhouse gases are toxic to the earth and mankind. Many chemically-treated goods produce such gases as a bi-product. These gases trap heat within the atmosphere and cause the temperature to rise. This is leading to global warming and thus climate change. This may ultimately lead to floods and extreme weather events like storms.
It is essential to take steps now to save the ecosystem. Not just at personal or residential levels but commercial levels too. Industries and companies are the major contributors to such unpleasant situations, so it’s high time they start making efforts. Today even many malls have shifted focus to a green building structure. There are implementing architectural changes and incorporating energy-efficient fittings to make it work. If you are a mall owner looking to reduce your carbon footprint, find below some of the best green practices you can adopt.
Create No Plastic Zone
This is the first initiative most mall owners are taking. If you are one, you might have already done this. Almost 5 trillion plastic bags are consumed every minute. As plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to decompose so this number is quite alarming. You should therefore make your mall a no-plastic zone and break the pollution chain.
Tell the shops in your mall to give away the products in jute bags and paper bags. Although many shops in your mall may have started charging for plastic bags, that has not deterred customers from asking for one. So, it is better to abolish them altogether.
There is cutlery made from plastic, too. To maintain a plastic-free zone, you have to ensure that restaurants and cafes in your mall stop using them. Bamboo and plantain leaf cutlery can do a better job; apart from issues concerning environmental wastes, plastic releases chemicals when hot food is packed in them. So, it is better to ban plastic for health reasons as well.
Adopt Green Cleaning Products
You must be getting the mall premises cleaned every day. It is something that must be done daily. However, specific cleaning agents can produce toxic fumes. If customers and employees working at the mall inhale the fumes, it can cause health hazards.
You must therefore hire janitorial cleaning services that specialize in green cleaning to clean the mall. Green cleaning involves omitting these harmful chemicals from use and replacing them with safer alternatives. The available eco-friendly options include Citrus-based solvents, Vinegar, Vegetable oil-based cleansers, and borax. You can use Hydrogen Peroxide for sanitization purposes. It is less harmful than the other cleaning agents.
Segregate Wet and Dry Waste
As a mall owner, you must take the initiatives to put the wastes to good use. Segregate waste bins into wet and dry waste. Educating customers, shop owners, and staff is essential to ensure such segregation. You can divert the wet waste into compost bins. They will be added back to where they belong, the earth.
Dry wastes can be used for recycling purposes. If not all the waste is recyclable, add some water, stir the waste and turn it into manure. Many malls are setting up Organic Waste Conversion units to produce manure. You should also set up such units in your mall.
Take Measures to Conserve Water
There are numerous ways you can conserve water in your mall. You can install low-power fixtures in bathrooms. Faucets, aerators, and low-flow showerheads are some of the options here. Keep the ideal water pressure at 65-80psi. This also assists buildings to get green certification like LEED. Utilize rain harvesting to direct water from the rooftops to storage tanks for purification and further usage.
Most malls have a central cooling system run by cooling towers. They draw significant amounts of water. You should get the cycles of concentration maximized to reduce wastage. Installation of the machine in an open area is one of the prerequisites. The site should be free from any dirt or debris. The indoor vents must also be free from blockages.
Use LED Lighting
LED lights consume lower power than incandescent lights. They cause less damage to the environment as they emit less carbon dioxide. Besides, LEDs generate less heat, which helps reduce cooling costs significantly. Hence, you must replace all the regular lights in your mall with LEDs.
Install Solar Power System
Many malls are using solar power for lighting. Photovoltaic cells are used to convert the sun’s energy into electric power. It is a renewable source of energy, so there are fewer chances of it getting depleted. Apart from providing alternate sources of electricity generation, it also helps to save on huge energy bills. The installation of solar panels is a cost-effective investment with a longevity of 30-40 years.
You can start incorporating these green practices to reduce the carbon footprints in the environment. A little goes a long way. Start saving natural resources and deteriorating earth now.