The birth of ECO Courts
The so-called "wellness society" brought to a progressive and unstoppable demand for natural resources, especially on a town-based level. Urban "metabolism" tied to household consumption and production activities produced a growing pressure on water and energetic resources, leading to a dangerous reduction of available environmental resources. More so, the growing production of waste calls for urgent measures aimed at reduction and eco-friendly management of the problem. "Saving" waste also means saving resources!
Energy consumption is an outstanding environmental issue, primarily because energy it's still produced especially from fossil fuel, which is the root cause for global warming. Data presented by the Foundation for Sustainable Development speak for themselves: 30% of energy consumption in Italy comes from residential buildings and cause 28% of greenhouse gases produced nationwide.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), between 1990 and 1995 the garbage production increased by 10%. Every year in Europe 3 billion tons of garbage is produced. In 2007, in Italy 160 million tons were produced. A third of these come from the cities.
Climate changes, growth in demand and human activities-generated pollution are causing the lowering of drinking water supply in certain areas or periods of the year. The overexploitation of this resource impairs its ability to regenerate. According to a study published by Federgasacqua, 45% of Italian population occasionally suffers from drinking water shortage, and the percentage raises to 78% in the southern part of the Country. Within Europe, Italy comes second only to Norway in daily water per capita consumption, reaching 340 liters per person. Family water consumption concerns physical hygiene for 41%, while only 5% is used for food.
It is necessary to address these problems in order to find solutions to reduce urban "metabolism". These solutions must take into account European advices on waste reduction, on an efficient use of resources and on the three principles that guide garbage management policies: prevention, recycle and reuse, optimal final disposal and best monitoring.