It’s not really Versailles here anymore!
Eco-actions are everyday actions that everyone can do to reduce their environmental impact.
We practiced these actions without knowing it until now, and we can paraphrase Mr. Jourdain “I have been doing eco-actions for more than forty years without knowing anything about it, and I am most grateful to you for teaching me that“. The new Masters of Philosophy will recognize themselves.
If we want to find a difference, it is in the awareness of the positive impact of turning off the lights when leaving a room, turning down the heat at night, riding a bike or sorting our waste.
Eco-actions apply to almost all areas of daily life:
- The use of water;
- The limitation and sorting of waste;
- Extending the life of your equipment;
- The reasonable use of digital technology (streaming, social networks, attachments, untimely “reply all”…);
Some facts and eco-actions
The electricity fairy
On average, the direct consumption of electricity in the home (in France) is nearly 5,000 kWh/year per dwelling (or 54 kWh/m2/year/inhabitant).
It is broken down according to the following graph (cf. ADEME):
Being sustainable means making it last
Extending the life of your household appliances by just one year saves nearly 1,000,000 tCO2-eq, which is the equivalent of the annual energy impact of 1.6 million households.
Digital, but not neutral
The carbon footprint of the digital sector currently represents more than 2% of the carbon footprint and 10% of electricity consumption in France.
The majority of the impact comes from the manufacturing of equipment (smartphones, computers, tablets, etc.). The carbon impact of emails varies according to the size of the attachments and the number of recipients. The carbon impact of streaming or video conferencing depends on the quality of the image.
At home and at the office
The following guides are self-explanatory and offer many ways to limit our impact at work, whether our office is at our employer’s or at home, and without affecting productivity or quality of life:
The difficult exercise of promoting
You can’t stop someone from smoking by telling them to stop smoking. Encouraging eco-actions is a difficult exercise that requires not infantilizing, making people feel guilty or irritating them. In particular, to encourage each of us, we must (re)explain the issues and highlight the positive results, what works, the progress made…
Thus, RTE reports that “..the trend towards a decrease in electricity consumption is now firmly established. Observed since September (2022), the downward movement (regardless of weather conditions) has increased in November-December, in all sectors (industrial, tertiary and residential). It reached -9% on average over the last four weeks… “
In another area of daily life, the abolition of single-use plastic bags in shops has finally been very well accepted by both consumers and retailers. It is a pity that no study on the actual “gain” of this important measure is available.
Communities are involved in promoting eco-actions in several ways. Their direct impact is significant. Local authorities are responsible for 10% of the overall energy consumption of their territory. In addition, their behavior is closely observed by citizens.
For example, Gérald Chirouze, DGST in Courbevoie, estimates that the consumption of a building depends directly on the behavior of its users and can be between 10 and 12%. To achieve this level of gain, regular work is required (when you stop the behavioral drifts start again). However, the exercise is easier today than 10 years ago, as society is more aware of the issues.
Some keys for impactful actions:
- Inform appropriately;
- Use the digital workspaces in place;
- Encourage the most motivated and rely on volunteers;
- Highlight the results obtained;
- Do not get discouraged 🙂
Solicitations to agents in a community can be categorized as follows:
- On a periodic basis to be chosen (daily or weekly);
- Towards agents who have subscribed to the channel (therefore aware and willing);
- Content: reminder of general instructions (ADEME) and in the context of the community;
- Vary the messages so as not to tire.
- On exceptional events (extreme cold or heat wave, ecowatt type alert, pollution phenomenon (particle, pollen) or calendar (closure, weekend…);
- To the managers of the buildings concerned, the agents and in certain cases the elected officials;
- Messages specific to the situation.
- Upon detection of anomalies (excessive temperature, window left open, water leakage…);
- To the agents and managers of the buildings concerned only;
- Messages specific to the situation.
Example : waste collection
A voluntary collection point (RRP) equipped with a filling detector can be used for two purposes:
- To optimize the collection round, avoid unnecessary passages and prioritize the RRPs with a high filling rate;
- To direct residents to the available and not saturated RRPs when they have waste to deposit.
These two uses contribute to improving the service, reducing its clean impact and encouraging residents to sort their waste.
The PCAET (Plan Climat Air Energie du Territoire) is a complex but very rich exercise about the current state and the objectives at the level of the whole territory. It is a solid basis for reflection for public authorities but also for each citizen concerned by the ecological transition of his territory, but also by the impact of his personal behavior. The effort is not so great, and common sense will eventually take over.
If you enjoyed this article, you might want to read Cities: liven up your real estate or visit our page dedicated to eco-actions.
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