Australia is one of the rare countries in the world that has taken the sustainability issue really seriously. This fact should not surprise us if we consider its position. It has one of the fastest growing nations in the world, and is already fighting the water scarcity problem.
If the scientists who have been warning us all about the dangers of unbridled consumption of natural resources are right, then by 2050, Australian vast dry land could turn into a setting for a post-apocalyptic movie, without the help of stage design and props. The only way out of this situation is to promote and encourage as many green and eco-friendly living trends among the people as possible.
By the looks of it, this strategy seems to be working for Australia. While the government itself is at the forefront of the world’s growing sustainability movement, many individuals have also decided to take their future into their own hands.
Here are just a few popular green trends that prove the Land Down Under could become the first fully sustainable country on the planet.
With nearly 22 million hectares of land used for organic farming, Australia is the world’s leading nation when it comes to the greatest amount, as well as greatest expansion, of land dedicated to organic production. It has more land than Europe, Africa, and North America collectively. The great majority of it is used for breeding grass-fed beef, but Australian organic sector is also producing wine grapes, grains, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts.
The idea of producing healthy, chemical-free food quickly grew into the grow-your-own-food movement, so garden owners started adding edibles to their gardens. Besides veggies, fruits, and herbs, they also keep chickens and bees for eggs and honey. Some are growing hops and grapes to make their own beer and wine, while others have taken things one step further by harvesting rainwater for irrigation purposes. Certain plants are also grown for their medicinal properties.
The sustainability trend did not bypass the landscaping department either. More and more people are opting for low maintenance lawns and flower beds for economic and environmental reasons. Decorative plants are no longer only beautifying the garden. They should serve at least some other purpose, be it to provide shade, prevent erosion, or keep the pests away. Turfgrass has been replaced with lawns grown from seed, and weeds are no longer the enemy, which means that less herbicides are used.
Given the extent of the impact of construction industry on the environment, it’s no wonder that the pioneering sustainability projects were first seen in this field. Australians were sceptical when the green concept of the Olympic Village for the 2000 Sydney Olympics was being developed.
But after the completion of the project, all doubts were erased and the Village was indeed proclaimed ‘green’. Since then, new sustainable technologies, practices, and materials have been developed and today Australia brags some of the most eminent experts of the trade.
Today, modern architecture is characterised by the ideas of meeting social rather than individual needs, and achieving environmental rather than aesthetic appeal.
The main goal of building design is to come up with a facility that reflects the ideas of sustainability both in terms of construction and operation. This trend is not only evident in the construction of public and commercial building. It has also affected the residential sphere.
Houses are built to blend in with their surroundings. New building materials are more durable and come from sustainable resources, while the trend of repurposing and reusing old materials is also gaining momentum.
Other eco-friendly features include things such as energy efficient heating and air-conditioning solutions, improved cladding systems, energy-saving appliances, and VOC-free paints. People are also turning to flexible living spaces that serve more than one purpose and decrease the surface area of the house in favour of the garden.
The thriving clothing industry in Australia has become synonymous with sustainable fashion, since many of the leading Australian designers have readily embraced the green concept. They turned to the use of recycled and up-cycled materials, and the zero-waste approach to manufacturing, and became strong advocates of the fair trade movement, which is in part oriented towards
sustainability in fashion industry. As the trend is gaining in popularity, the list of slow fashion brands in Australia is getting longer and longer. However, the producers of eco-friendly items are just one piece of the puzzle. If it weren’t for the environmentally friendly consumers in Australia, who refuse to buy clothes from brands that are not transparent and honest about their manufacturing procedures, all this would count for nothing.