Thoughts on Climate Change
Lately, we are all well aware that climate change is a world-leading issue. The climate is changing faster than ever before and faster than forecasted. It is affecting our everyday lives, such as extreme weather and natural disasters. New Zealand is now facing drought issues and stage one water restrictions are in place.
So, what factors cause climate change?
We would say mostly because of excessive carbon emissions into the atmosphere. We produce carbon on a daily basis in order to make life easier for ourselves. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) coal, oil and gas are used to generate electricity to run cars and other forms of transport, as well as to power manufacturing industries. Another is deforestation, we cut down trees to build things. Living trees absorb carbon dioxide and then create a cleaner atmosphere, therefore more trees need to be planted.
“Though Aotearoa New Zealand is a small country, individual New Zealanders have big carbon footprints. The average New Zealander emits over 16 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year – more than the average European, and over twice the average Chinese person’s emissions.” says WWF.
How do buildings have an impact on climate change?
We understand that buildings create a lot of carbon emissions and it contributes to climate change! From cutting down trees to manufacturing building materials.
According to researchers, new- kiwi homes produce five times carbon emission as it can afford to, if the world is to stay inside 2C warming (2 degree increase in temperature). Nevertheless, we New Zealanders prefer detached spacious houses, not worrying about how much carbon we are emitting.
How can we decrease carbon footprint in the building industry?
- Decrease the size of houses
- Build houses that are more energy efficient (Passive house for example) because using heating and cooling through the use of electricity from the grid increases carbon emission (link to passive housing blog)
- Use electric vehicles to move building materials
- Use energy efficient appliances
- Reduce, reuse and recycle building materials