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Environmentally friendly acts

Environmentally friendly acts

The Artisan is a block of apartments designed with the future in mind. Boasting an average 8.6 energy star rating, each of the 13 apartments in the four-storey complex has been designed to represent the very epitome of sustainable strata development.

Featuring high thermal mass reverse concrete block construction with rendered foam insulation, the sculpted design of the block is based on passive solar principles.

The units are arranged in two ‘pods’, with an open stairwell between them to facilitate airflow while the double glazed windows have been strategically positioned to achieve the best sun angles for winter solar access while producing plenty of natural light.

The innovation behind its design saw the building win a slew of awards and hailed for its sustainable design.

If the catastrophic damage the country has experienced in weather events so far in 2020 has taught us anything, it is that in a perfect world we would all choose to live in homes that are this kind on the environment.

But while this is not yet possible, there are still a tonne of things strata residents can do to help lessen the impact of our carbon imprint.

The first is recognising that being environmentally sustainable doesn’t mean living without luxuries, but rather being aware of your resource consumption and reducing unnecessary waste.

The award-winning Artisan apartments, designed by EME Design, are a great example of sustainable strata design. Photos by Peter Clarke and Luke Middleton.

Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA)

A good way to do this is by signing up to a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) project. A CSA is where strata residents purchase shares in a farm’s projected harvest in advance and for a set period (perhaps a season or a year) and in exchange receive regular food deliveries.

Purchase fair-trade products

Look for the fair-trade certification stamp when you purchase imported items, particularly coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, chocolate, and fruit. This designation tells you that these items were grown using sustainable methods of agriculture and that local people are receiving fair prices for the goods they produce.

Reduce household energy use

Make a concerted effort to turn off appliances and lights that you’re not using. Install energy-efficient appliances. Open windows to allow a breeze instead of turning on the air conditioning or hang clothes to dry instead of putting them in the dryer. It can even be as simple as using a hand grinder to grind beans for your morning coffee in the place of an electric one.

Resell and Donate

Extend the life of items that you no longer have a need for by reselling or donating them to others. In doing so not only do you assist someone else, but you help reduce dependence on disposable or cheaply made single-use products that end up in landfills.

Drink from the tap

Dependence on bottled water adds millions of tonnes of plastic to the waste stream every year. Most town water supplies available in Australia provide safe, clean, fresh water and don’t require the use of plastic. If you’re not a fan of the flavour of your tap water, consider investing in a filtration system instead. Encourage your employer to install filters and offer glasses or reusable bottles at work too.

Rely less on your car

The exhaust from a car releases hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, which together react with sunlight to increase ground-level ozone. Car exhaust also releases carbon monoxide, which can threaten human health, and carbon dioxide, which contributes significantly to global warming. Instead of taking your car everywhere investigate mass transit options in your town or city, such as trains or buses. When traveling close to home, walk or ride your bike.

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