IMPROVING YOUR HOME
Our Sustainable Future
DID YOU KNOW?
That we’re on track to surpass a global population of 8.5 billion by 2030? That’s an incredible increase of 1.2 billion in just one decade!
Let’s face it — with so many incredible changes happening around the world, it can be hard to keep up with present circumstances, let alone think deeply about the future. But it’s never been more important to future-proof and protect the planet.
Our changing climate, combined with shifting wealth dynamics, means that sustainability is rapidly becoming a more pressing issue. In order to appropriately support our growing population and changing environment, our traditional ways of living must transform.
The biggest ways through which we’ll be seeing positive changes are new, often unprecedented, sustainability practices, from how we live at home to how we work.
Let’s explore some expert predictions for our ever-changing infrastructures.
An increase in co-living
When we think of co-living, we usually think of undergraduates on campus or 20-something friends enjoying a sharehouse — but that concept of co-living is quickly becoming outdated.
There are many factors that contribute to society’s focus on the future of co-living, with issues like ageing, changing work patterns, income inequality, diminishing space and even loneliness, compelling people to reside together.
DID YOU KNOW?
Co-living is likely to become a $100 billion industry within the next few years.
Source: The Housemonk Global Coliving Report 2019
We’ll likely see a rise in co-living to accommodate our growing population. There is a need for more inhabitable spaces, as cities and our built environments are simply not currently capable of providing the space necessary to sustain our growth.
Urban planning with co-living in mind is intended to take pressure off the urban sprawl and re-establish living spaces as community-focused places that more people can call home.
For the younger generations across Australia, we’re seeing growth from companies like Hmlt who offer specialty co-living spaces that have a focus on fostering bonding between residents.
They’re constructed with community in mind, making where we live feel like home again in big and growing places.
But it’s not just where we build; how we build is also important.
When building the homes of the future, sustainability must be top of mind to ensure climate changes are properly considered. The changing climate brings with it increased and irregular weather activities like storms, fires, heatwaves, cold snaps and floods — ones that are more catastrophic and dangerous than ever.
DID YOU KNOW?
The average life of an Australian brick home is 88 years, whereas that of a timber home is only 58 years.
Source: Australian Government Your Home: Adapting to climate change
Longevity is the goal when building new living space; spaces that will withstand the changing world around us. To combat the unpredictability of nature, enterprising and tech-focused companies are modernising their building practices.
For homes most likely to be affected by bushfires, features like in-built shutters, sprinkler systems and fire-resistant building materials are becoming more common. To help homes combat extreme storms, impact-resistant roofing, using metal instead of terracotta, has been shown to make a huge difference.
The one downfall to constructing these more eco-friendly and forward-thinking homes is that the upfront costs can be higher, deterring some builders. However, what we really need to consider is not whether we can afford to build resilient homes — but whether we can afford not to build them.
Carbon positive companies
Having sustainability built into our homes is important, sustainability from companies — big or small — is also important. It’s all well and good to be our best sustainable selves in day-to-day life, but unless we’re striving to make our workplaces sustainable too, we’ll sadly always fall short.
DID YOU KNOW?
Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.
Source: The Carbon Majors Database - CDP Carbon Majors Report 2017
Major changes are required across all industries and all infrastructures to meet the UN’s goal of cutting global greenhouse gas emissions by 7.6% between 2020 and 2030. We can see exciting changes, though, in companies that are working towards being carbon-neutral, or even carbon-positive.
“Carbon-neutral” is a term that gets thrown around a lot and it’s a term that can be a little confusing. Essentially, being carbon-neutral involves removing the same amount of carbon dioxide a company emits into the atmosphere to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. There are a few ways companies try to achieve this, but it’s usually by purchasing carbon offsets or credits to make up the difference.
Huge companies like Amazon and Microsoft have publicly pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2040 and 2030, respectively. Sustainable practices by huge corporations are hopefully a glimpse at a future where we can maintain a world that is as neutral as possible — starting with our homes and workplaces.
Given our increasing population, we need more than ever to focus on reigning in carbon emissions. But with sustainable practices like co-living, green homes and carbon-neutral companies, we can help achieve this together.
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