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Green living in Australia

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Australian attitudes towards climate change have been shifting considerably over the past few years. While many Australian’s don’t believe in climate change, more do. The majority also believe the Australian government should be doing more to address climate change on a global scale.


An Ongoing Disagreement as to the Cause of Climate Change

According to CSIRO’s 2014 annual survey of Australian attitudes to climate change, a strong majority of Australian’s believe that climate change is happening and support a variety of initiatives to address the potential impacts. However, the study concluded that there was an ongoing disagreement as to whether the cause of climate change are natural fluctuations or are the consequences of human activity. The CSIRO survey also found a pattern of ‘optimism bias’ – the belief that one is less likely than others to experience something negative. Many Australian’s believed that they would be least harmed by climate change while those most unlike themselves (those in poor, developing nations and people in the world generally) were more likely to be harmed.

Contracted by the Garnaut Climate Change Review team, the CSIRO reviewed a number of recent studies examining Australians’ views of climate change. A total of 22 studies were reviewed and analysed. From this existing research it was concluded that most Australians believe that climate is changing, but fewer believe that the change is attributable to human activity. This belief in climate change and its drivers has waned during the last few years, reflecting trends in other Western countries. Beliefs about climate change are strongly related to political preferences, voting behaviours and gender, while no clear relationships between these beliefs and location, income or age have been shown.


Australia Needs to Take Action on Climate Change

While there was no clear consensus on what policy actions Australians prefer, such as setting a carbon price or establishing an emissions trading scheme, the study did conclude that most Australians believe that Australia should take action on climate change without waiting for a global consensus.

A recent ReachTEL survey of 2400 people concluded the same. Conducted for a coalition of environmental groups, 64 per cent of respondents stated that they were more likely to vote for a party seeking 100 per cent renewable energy in 20 years. 48 per cent of respondents also said they were more likely to support a party reducing Australia’s net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. The survey concluded that 56.4 per cent of Australians want the government to do more to address climate change. 27.8 per cent believed the current policies were correct and only 9.9 per cent wanted less action on climate change.

Australia has one of the highest per capita emissions of carbon dioxide in the world. If every person in the world produced the same green house gas levels as each Australian, the world would produce approximately 560% more green house gas emissions. To combat this, Australian’s need to do more to lower their own personal carbon footprints, while continuing to push their government for a tougher stance on climate change.


Being environmentally-friendly can sometimes cause headaches, especially when it comes to purchasing new items. New items for your home are quite often not only unsustainably sourced but can also be pricey and come from unethical merchandisers. As a self-proclaimed vegan hippie chick and passionate home decorator, I’ve outlined my top tips on how to redecorate your home more sustainably depending on your style.


Vintage Darling

When choosing new décor and furniture to buy for your home, the number one thing you can do to purchase more ethically is buying used goods. If you’re a retro furniture and vintage lover like I am, this tip is easy. If you’re redecorating rather than simply ‘decorating’ meaning, you already have enough furniture to get you by, you just want an upgrade or a do-over then you can get the perfect look by spending more time searching for those one off second-hand farmhouse tables, retro lounges and classic end tables. It gets a little more complicated though if you’re only into the modern look.

Modern minimalism

While it may be a little more difficult to source second-hand modern furniture and décor for your home, the good thing about this look is that it’s perfectly paired with the minimalism trend. Modern décor is often boldly coloured and the furniture is often chunkier than vintage pieces. Think chunky modular lounges, heavy glass table tops and layers upon layers of chunky knit throws and brightly patterned pillows. This all means, that to get the perfect modern look, you won’t have to purchase as much. You mightn’t have much luck scouring vintage markets and antique shops to score your second-hand items but used classified’s should have your covered.

Industrial Elegance

If you’re a fan of the industrial look, chances are, like modern minimalism you won’t have to buy quite as much to get the right look. Search for one of a kind pieces online second-hand and go to markets to find hand-made, recycled and upcycled pieces made by local furniture and décor designers. The good thing about this trend is that one or two pieces may be enough to give your home the industrial look, without giving your home a total make over. The right industrial pieces can be paired with modern and vintage finds as this look is so bold you won’t want to go overboard with a hundred new pieces.

Shabby Chic

The shabby chic look has been in for a long time now and it doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of dying down. The good thing about this is that you won’t have any problem finding second-hand shabby chic finds at your local markets, at online second-hand shops and in antique and vintage stores. If you’ve had your eye out for a particular type of piece for a while now, perhaps the best thing about the shabby chic look is that you can create it yourself. Purchase any unloved wooden furniture items in the right shape and size of your desired piece and give it some love with white chalk paint, be as rough or smooth as you like for your chosen finish. This way you’ve purchased something old and given it a new life. What could be more sustainable than that?