Sustainability means renewing resources at a rate equal to or greater than the rate they’re consumed with the main areas being energy, water and waste. And 63 per cent of Australians want to be more sustainable at home.
But, according to the IKEA Australia People and Planet Positive report, half of us don’t know where to start?
And more than one on three (39 per cent) find the whole thing completely overwhelming.
More than half of Australians (57 per cent) are aware of the cost and time-saving benefits to being sustainable.
Yet 26 per cent of Australians think there are no cost savings from sustainability.
The IKEA report revealed that households in Australia throw away $1,036 worth of food every year. More than a quarter of households admit to letting food go bad.
The simple installation of a water saving tap can also save you money on your water bill – it can save you the equivalent of 260 baths of water per year.
Even the simple act of swapping out a regular light for an LED light means you can save yourself the cost of 22 traditional light bulbs.
Australians are already good recyclers – 90 per cent of us do it – while 79 per cent minimise their air conditioning and heating and 78 per cent have replaced standard lights with LEDs.
IKEA has taken a leadership position on sustainability with more than 10,000 of its products built with sustainability in mind.
The company want to help you do more with less and see how simple changes can make a big difference.
Across the business, decisions have been made to save energy, water and waste from the environment of the stores, how products are shipped and packaged and the materials products are made from.
You can buy chairs made from recycled plastic and wood, stools which are 40 per cent made from recycled materials and, of course, a whole range of LED lights.
In fact, IKEA the only lighting that sells are LED which includes dimmable lights and downlights.
Here’s what you can do around your house to become more sustainable.
This is a room where there are a lot of opportunities to save energy, water and waste.
Good storage with clear containers means you can see your supplies and use the oldest first so nothing goes to waste.
Even something as simple as a Variclip can help reseal packaging so food doesn’t go stale or go to waste.
A lot of the wooden kitchen products available from IKEA are made from bamboo which grows quite quickly because it’s actually a grass not a tree that takes months not decades to grow.
A water-efficient tap like the Aleskar in your sink will only run at three litres a minute instead of up to 18 litres per minute.
Water can also be captured in containers sitting in the sink so you can wash your fruit and vegetables inside them.
You can also have different bins under your sink to sort out your waste and recycling.
It’s also possible to have a vertical garden to grown your own herbs as well as giving the kitchen a brighter feel.
When cooking, an induction hob offers a lot more efficiency than a regular cook top.
The technology onboard IKEA’s Sensuell range can determine the size of the pot and will only use enough energy to cover the size of your pot or pan.
They work 60 per cent faster and are 40 per cent more efficient so you’ll see the savings on your energy bill.
IKEA’s bedroom sheets and duvets are made from 100 per cent sustainable cotton – the company actually uses one per cent of the world’s cotton.
The material used inside the duvets is wood cellulose that’s spun like fairy floss to give it that soft feel.
It also retains more heat and stays cool in summer so you save on heating and cooling costs.
IKEA sells a lot of hangers and racks to allow customers to air and dry their clothes using the sun instead of a dryer.
And airing clothes means you can probably get another wear out of your shirts and blouses so you’ll save water with less use of the washing machine.
Here you can opt for water-saving taps and shower heads as well as furniture made from bamboo which is naturally water resistant.
A lot of heat is lost through the floor so a simple floor rug can save you heating costs.
Modular furniture is also becoming more popular and IKEA offers items that can have multiple purposes.
Cushions are also filled with recycled PET materials while IKEA’s hollow blinds offer natural insulation to prevent heat leaking from windows. These can also keep heat out in summer as well.
Having your own garden can save you the cost of buying your plants, spices and vegetables because you can grow them yourself.
Even if you live in an apartment, IKEA offers products to set up your own urban garden.
You can read the full IKEA Australia People and Planet Positive report here.