When you think about sustainability, you probably think about big business and industry, but sustainable living starts at home. Individually, we need to factor in our future by investigating the exciting innovations across the many aspects of our lives. Here are some of 2019’s most prevalent eco trends. Go against the fast-consuming, short-term grain for long-term gain.

Organic food

Australia leads the way with the amount of ever-expanding space we dedicate to organic food production. While most of it comes in the form of grass-fed beef, our organic industry is also active in the areas of chemical-free wine grapes, grains, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts. And this trend extends to our backyard gardens. Fewer of us are choosing to use decorative plants; instead, we’re sowing stuff that serves other purposes like supplying shade, stopping erosion and preventing pests.

Escalating development is costly to the environment. Championing societal needs over individual needs, and focusing on environmental rigour is where Green Architecture happens. Essentially, sustainability should be paramount in both construction and operation across public, commercial and residential areas. Green buildings blend into their surrounds and are constructed using materials derived from durable, sustainable resources. They repurpose and reuse materials and incorporate increased energy efficiency, improved cladding systems and VOC-free paints. Multipurpose, flexible living spaces and a shift towards decreasing surface area of homes in favour of garden space are also ways to prioritise sustainability.

Recycled and up-cycled materials, a zero-waste approach to manufacturing and advocating for fair trade clothes all linchpins of sustainable fashion. Not solely the responsibility of producers, we consumers can choose to buy from slow fashion brands which support environmental and socio-economic aspects. Sustainable fashion isn’t easy. Producers must oversee energy and environmental impact and enhance working conditions. While consumers need to focus on their reuse and repair, their washing actions; shift their entire outlook on fashion. By choosing quality over quantity, you can contribute to sustainability, starting with your wardrobe. Keep your quality pieces and build your collection consciously.

Our increasing interconnectedness could lead to meaningful change; positive progress happens when we work together. More and more, organisations strive to gain B Corporation status; to meet high standards of social and environmental performance. A surge in green building, as well as an increase in single-use plastic bans, and a crackdown on polluting all point towards collective action. On an individual level, we’re taking more responsibility for recycling and energy efficiency, as well as educating ourselves around how to lessen our environmental impact and influence the greater social good. If you’re looking to increase your eco-friendliness and reduce your carbon footprint – education is the key to sustainable living.

This is one of the crucial areas that demand change, and every little bit counts. From carpooling and riding your bike to work to changing the way you use transport, all alter our impact. Revamping how we all travel starts by making public transport your norm; each car emits 4.7 metric tonnes of C02 every year. Reducing fossil fuel cars, pushing self-driving and electric cars and creating green highway walls to trap and filter carbon emissions are just the tip of the sustainable transport iceberg. From here, it’s a collective effort.

These are 5 aspects of life which stand to have a significant impact on sustainable living. Start investigating how these facets feature in your home and lifestyle, as well as in your broader community. 

Kate Torta