China's Plans for Greener Pastures

By Email author - Sat, 05 Nov 2011 13:15:00 GMT
China's Plans for Greener Pastures

Shanghai via Shutterstock

Known for their wastelands of electronic junk and cringe-worthy levels of carbon emission, China isn't exactly the poster-child for eco-friendly living. But despite having the aforementioned strikes against them, China has made some major positive changes. The Chinese State Council has now released a five-year contingency plan, which outlines rules that, if followed, could make China a pioneer in green governing. For example, one of the proposals is a green tax that would charge major corporations and people for utilizing certain resources.

Many are dubious about the viability of China's plan; the Chinese government has demonstrated corruption and lack of action on various occasions, but the 5-year plan is at least a move in the right direction. Some have questioned China's motives in launching the new environmental regulations, but there are several reasons why China has chosen to go green. One reason could be to preserve (or rectify) their reputation. China has gotten a lot of negative press due to e-wastes and pollution, and the new plan, if effective, could give the country a better image.

In related news, China has also made strides outside of the country. Modern Green is a development company based out of Beijing. They are known for working on large-scale eco-friendly projects, such as Grand MOMA, an award-winning complex, and are currently stationed in Vancouver, Canada, where they are working on making a green residential unit for students of the University of British Columbia (UBC).

china pollution

Chemical plant via Shutterstock

According to Robbie Zhang, the managing director of Modern Green Development Canada, they were interested in the area because "We heard the mayor's 2020 target to make Vancouver one of the most green cities in the world." The unit will contain 90 condos and 16 two-level townhomes. Each unit will be constructed with sustainability and comfort in mind. The complex is known as 'Yu,' which is the Chinese pronunciation of jade (green).

Cameron McNeil is in charge of selling these homes. McNeil describes the project, "A typical building or apartment block has four sides, and inside the building is where they have the elevators and hallways... But this building has an entire interior courtyard. What that means is that all these homes have light on both sides. They have windows that open on the outside, as in your traditional building, but also on the inside courtyard."

These special windows will allow for cross-ventilation. The Vancouver Sun reports that other green features the buildings will sport include "heightened insulation, efficient window systems, low VOC construction materials and a 'green' roof, among other sustainable initiatives." If Modern Green chooses to install garage doors, you can bet that they'll be eco-friendly, too.

Green Living is an Earth Times Blog; any views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author

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