I have decided to revisit this page a year on.
The information still stands BUT the really important thing to me is “Can you get it locally or if not, how far`away does it come from?”
We have been looking at floor coverings for the kitchen. We found a product that is totally natural, recycles all the left overs and recycles the product at the end of its life. Great. Fits all criteria except for the fact that the natural product, rubber, starts life in Indonesia, goes to France to be manufactured and then comes to Australia. Right round the world and a bit more. After this realisation we have found a floating timber floor made from recycled fence palings. The palings come from Victoria and the floor is made right here in Launceston
The moral of the story in my opinion is not to get too hung up on wanting everything and who cares where it comes from but way up the options and go for the best, most local one. This keeps your carbon footprint much smaller and employs local people in local business. It is also good to create relationships with people in your own area.
That is a good question. You could also add:
- Are the products environmentally friendly?
- How do I know they are environmentally friendly?
- Can I source them locally?
- Are they Australian made?
- How many miles/kilometers do they haveto travel to get here?
- Can they be recycled at the end of their life?
- Does the company have a “Cradle to Grave” policy
- Do I really need the product?
- Are they a recycled product?
- How much energy does the product use?
- How much energy did it take to make the product?
Its a lot to think about. Luckily there are some websites that help answer the questions. No I don’t mean the myriads of on line “Eco” shops although they can be useful to source some of the products once the research has been done. No I don’t mean the evergrowing number of comparison shopping sites that pop up with next to no substance once you click on them.
What I do mean is a few sites that are dedicated to researching environmentally friendly products and useful hints and tips on saving power, water, greenhouse gases etc. These are below. I will also add them to the links section of the blog.
- Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) Committed to credible product information for sustainable development
- Ecospecifier Australasia, – a knowledge base of over 3500 eco-products, eco-materials, technologies and resources, the leading global source of sustainable development & life-cycle assessed green product information
- Energyrating.gov.au – Australia’s leading guide to choosing an energy efficient appliance.
- Energy Star Australia – ENERGY STAR is an international standard for energy efficient electronic equipment. It was created by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 and has now been adopted by several countries around the world, including Australia.
- Global Warming Cool It! – A home guide to reducing energy costs and greenhouse gases
- GreenPainters.com.aug tGreenPainters™ is Australia’s national non-for-profit organisation education program and network providing training, advice, and skills to promote the latest sustainable coatings technology. It represents painters and manufacturers who are leaders in the Green Building Industry.
- Green Vehicle Guide The Green Vehicle Guide helps you by rating new Australian vehicles based on greenhouse and air pollution emissions.
- Greenpower accredited renewable energy GreenPower is a government accreditation program for renewable energy. It is bought by your energy provider on your behalf
- Water Efficiency and Labelling Standards Scheme Water shortages and the longer-term security of water supply are serious concerns for Australia. The WELS Scheme labels a range of products for water efficiency, helping Australian households to save water and money.
- Yourhome.gov.au A Government website with 4 brilliant free areas. A house buyers guide. A Renovators Guide. Sanctuary magazine and Your Home Technical Manual, a complete guide to all aspects of your home.