Australia is set to experience some of the hottest and driest summers in the coming years. For instance, in Melbourne by 2030, the average annual temperature is projected to increase by almost 1.3 degrees centigrade over the 1986-2005 average.
A significant cause of climate change is carbon emissions, and about 20% of Australia’s carbon emissions come from households. Therefore, you can reduce your household’s carbon footprint by adopting some of the following tips and selecting relevant articles from a house and home furniture store.
- Choose furniture made of sustainably sourced wood:
Forests capture carbon dioxide in a process known as carbon sequestration. An estimated 13,067 mn tonnes of carbon is stocked in Australian forests. However, logging and forest fires have released about 200 mn tonnes of the sequestered carbon into the atmosphere.
Additionally, most of Australia’s hardwood for furniture comes from dedicated plantations. However, plantation area has been steadily declining in the past decade, implying that hardwood is procured increasingly from native forests.
Therefore, you can lessen your carbon footprint by choosing furniture made of engineered and recycled wood. Additionally, you can choose to shop at a house and home furniture store that pledges to contribute to Australia’s green cover by planting a tree every time you order.
- Reduce water consumption:
Australians consume about 340 liters of water per person per day. While 35% of it goes into watering the plants, nearly 20% of it gets flushed down the toilet. The UN recommends 20 liters of water per person every day as a bare minimum and 50-100 litres as a healthy requirement. By no account then is 340 litres justifiable.
Rainwater harvesting systems are efficient means of contributing to the sustainable utilization of water.
Additionally, you can consider reusing sewage water to irrigate your garden.
- Utilize direct sunlight:
Lighting accounts for about 10% of an average Australian household’s budget. The Australian government reckons that you can save up to $650 over a decade by replacing low-efficiency halogen bulbs with efficient LED bulbs.
You can install “light shelves” – window sills that reflect a diffused natural light indoors. For instance, Melbourne’s Council Hall has successfully implemented light shelves to reduce its electricity consumption for lighting purposes. It also uses light shafts – reflective tubes that carry light from the outdoors into areas with low natural light.
- Allow for natural temperature regulation:
A survey by finder.com found that Australians spend $3.6bn every summer on air conditioning. 1.9 Australians leave it on even if nobody’s home! You can reduce your air conditioning bill by using cooler material for building and furnishing your home. For instance, avoid dark sofas in the hall to absorb direct sunlight and heat. Use darker drapes in summers – especially for bedrooms.
Further, you can again take tips from Melbourne’s Council Hall, which uses adjustable wooden slats (called louvres) on the windows to control the amount of heat that flows into the building. In summers, they direct the heat away from the interiors of the building, and in winters, they require the heat inwards.
Climatic conditions are expected to become more extreme in the coming years. By 2030 parts of Australia that experienced only eight scorching days in a year will experience up to 12. You can contribute to climate change control by choosing your household furniture and regulating water and electricity use judiciously.