What CDMX and entrepreneurs are doing to combat climate change

Businessmen join Daniel Madariaga Barrilado

From the increase in greenhouse gases to changes in weather patterns and ocean warming, the planet is in trouble. With 97 percent of climate scientists agree that these global warming trends are due to human activity, it is time for humans to come together to try to save the planet. Mexico City and entrepreneur and sustainability expert Daniel Madariaga Barrilado are taking crucial steps to help make a difference.

Prohibition of the use of plastic bags and single-use products

As of January 1, 2020, citizens of Mexico City are asked to return to their old ways of using reusable cloths and woven straw baskets. In an effort to combat climate change, the city initiated a ban against plastic bags in supermarkets that people have become so accustomed to using. And this new ban plans to expand in 2021 to also ban plastic straws, spoons, coffee capsules and other single-use items.

But what difference will the ban on some plastic bags really make? While the media show reports of plastics that fill the oceans, kill animals and fill landfills, the impact of plastic on climate change and global warming is much more than that. A recent report from the Center for International Environmental Law shows how dangerous plastic production is for the planet. The report states that "plastic is one of the most ubiquitous materials in the economy and one of the most persistent and penetrating pollutants on Earth."

The production of plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at each stage. Starting with the extraction of the fossil fuels necessary for its production, until its refining process and subsequent disposal, it is estimated that the plastic will be responsible for 13 percent of the total carbon budget. This is equivalent to 615 coal power plants.

The report calls for urgent measures to stop the production and use of single-use plastic items and Mexico City has heard the call. The simple task of reusing cloth bags and baskets and getting rid of plastic can make a big difference to the planet.

Green building promotes sustainability

Traditionally, the construction industry has never been friendly to the environment and, according to various studies, contributes up to 50 percent of the negative impact on climate change. Construction contributes to 23 percent of air pollution, 40 percent of drinking water pollution and up to 50 percent of landfill waste. The construction sector is an area that needs to undergo major changes to reduce the human impact on the planet. Sustainability expert Daniel Madariaga believes that, with simple changes in practice and materials, the impact of construction on the climate could be reduced by five to 10 years.

An important way to make a difference is through green building. This innovative construction method creates buildings that reduce the negative impact on the climate, as well as its surrounding environments. Some of the objectives of green building include the reduction of waste and pollution associated with construction, the use of recycled material whenever possible and the efficient use of energy, water and other resources.

n recent years, the results of climate change provided a new solution to construction problems in Mexico. More than one million tons of seaweed sargassum began to cover the beaches of Mexico as a result of climate change. While these algae devastated many coastal tourist communities, it raised a new idea for sustainability experts such as Daniel Madariaga . As he says, “The arrival of the sargassum recorded by the Mexican coast this year is the result of climate change. Although it represented a challenge for entrepreneurs to face this problem, the sector has managed to innovate and has found a way to make sargassum useful and use it to make completely sustainable constructions. ”

Construction material made of seaweed
Instead of using traditional bricks, Daniel Madariaga and others discovered that sargassum could become bricks of sustainable construction that would last much longer than traditional cement bricks. In addition to its sustainability, the construction of these bricks allowed builders to reduce construction costs by more than 50 percent. These bricks work well in all climates and ecosystems, allowing builders to expand their ability to create green buildings.

Reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gases

Mexico is responsible for generating more than 973 million tons of CO2 each year, with vehicle emissions being the main contributor. In large cities such as Mexico City, most of these emissions are generated from congested urban traffic as residents search for parking spaces in overcrowded areas. Daniel Madariaga believes that a solution to reduce these emissions and high levels of air pollution lies in the new technology and automated and robotic parking structures.

Robotic parking structures are the answer to crowded cities with limited parking availability. These structures occupy half of the normal required space of a parking structure, while offering hundreds of thousands of available parking spaces. These systems use computerized elevators that move a vehicle into a parking space within its structure, designed similarly to a shelf. Instead of driving around the city looking for a place to park, drivers simply enter the parking structure kiosk and the machines will do the rest.

These robotic parking structures not only reduce emissions in major cities such as Mexico City, but their smaller size allows cities to create more green areas, such as parks and natural areas. This allows cities to greatly reduce their carbon footprint and work to reduce climate change before it is too late. (IS)