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How can you adopt the Paris Climate Agreement in your assisted living community?

Posted by TheWorxHub | Thursday, January 07, 2016

Although it has been a hot issue for quite a few years now, development in mitigating climate change is still a work in progress. However, December 2015 marked a major milestone in the battle against global warming when the United Nations was able to get 195 countries to take the first step in the right direction. 

What were the results of the talks?

The 21st Conference of Parties in Paris led to an agreement from all countries saying they will start processes to cut down on the harmful chemicals before 2020. It also included an outline of strategies specific to each country that must be updated every five years. The long term goals of this agreement are to make sure global warming stays below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit and that man-made emissions are reduced to an absorbable level by 2050, reported The Associated Press. 

How will this affect you?

According to The BBC, at 12 percent, the U.S. emits the second most greenhouse gases in the world, right behind China at 24 percent. Combined, the top ten producers create over 70 percent of the world's total emissions. These statistics and this initiative mean that green policies are finally going to be taken off the back burner and we'll start to see actual action. While every country is going to be tackling this problem their own ways, this change will likely affect the cost of living as it will change everything from tax rates to the cost of food, reported the source. 

What can you be doing to help the initiative?

The U.S. is about to be hit with regulation policies, so the time to prepare your assisted living community is now. You might be asking yourself if you think you're too small to make any type of impact on the cause. But that's rarely the case. Building managers only have to do a little to change a lot when it comes to turning their facilities into environmentally friendly zones.

Check out these assisted living solutions that will make your building eco-friendly:

Make recycling a priority

While recycling's an old concept, it's not always top of mind for residents, or even staffers, when they have to go out of their ways to dispose of their garbage. Equip every room and dining area with bins that are clearly labeled with what products are trash verses what's recyclable to make it easy to dispose of everything correctly.

Try composting

Want to take recycling one step further? Also include a bin for compost and turn that into nutrients for soil in a community garden. This gardening space will also serve as a great activity for seniors, as well as fresh food for residents. 

Rework remodeling efforts

If you've noticed your building needs a paint touch-up or new carpeting, Sustainable Capitol Hill recommended using a non-toxic and non-VOC paint, and carpets that are made without formaldehyde. Weatherproofing windows and doors is another easy remodeling opportunity that can be as simple as caulking cracks or insulating attics and walls, said the source. Green Property Management also suggested using low-flow toilets and showers to save water. And of course, replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs is an easy adjustment, however also consider motion-sensor lights so energy is not wasted if someone has left a room without turning the light off first. 

Reduce printing

You don't need to print as much now that memos and rent can both be accessed online. Technology might be challenging for some of the residents, however it's easy to learn. Staff can always teach and help seniors the technology that can make this initiative possible.