With some world leaders seemingly putting their fingers in their ears, closing their eyes and saying “la, la, la, la…” to climate change, it’s never been more important for people to take responsibility and personal action to protect our environment.
There are all sorts of every day changes you can make to minimise your environmental impact. The Blank Canvas team watched War on Waste and learned that Australian’s use one billion plastic-lined coffee cups that don’t biodegrade and wind up in landfill, or discarded in the environment each year. As soon as we’d seen that, we decided, as a team, to ban disposable cups from Borough of Hawthorn.
We got online and ordered these Frank Green 100 per cent Australian designed and made keep cups. They’re glass lined so they don’t make the coffee taste weird, and the outside is in our Blank Canvas corporate colours. Of course, as we’re a design studio we needed to let everyone’s creativity shine through, so everyone has a different coloured cup stopper to reflect their individuality.
Giving up the disposable coffee cups for good is a small thing all Australians could all be doing to help the environment.
Then there are the bigger ways we can look to adapt or create home and business spaces that are sustainable and sympathetic to the environment. Luxury Sydney holistic fitness studio, Embody, which I completed in 2016, is a great example of how to create a sustainable workspace.
My brief was to create a pioneering urban sanctuary in line with the philosophy: ‘move, nourish, unplug’ where the focus on materials were selected with a sustainable principle so that the physical environment of the space reflected the restorative culture of the studio. Think materials with minimal environmental impact, green walls, environmentally friendly cleaning products, LED lighting and unparalleled communal spaces to foster a feeling of nurtured belonging. Stay tuned; I’ll be sharing more about the Embody project here on my website in the coming weeks.
Then there are the ways that we can look to give back our existing environments or even correct the wrongs that have been wrought in the world we live. I’m incredibly excited to be consulting to the family that is leasing Lady Elliot Island from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
The people I am working with are really going the extra mile to redress the environmental balance in this precious Marine National Park Green Zone.
I will be guiding them in the re-imagining of the existing buildings: the interiors and exteriors of the accommodation (for 150 people), business centre, bar, restaurant, and information centre. Meanwhile, the family are going over and above their remit to care for the wildlife and surrounding environment, and have committed to regenerate the native flora and fauna by creating their own nursery so that they can replace introduced plant species with native plants, which has encouraged a whole new field of wildlife visiting and nesting on the island. Again, more on this super-exciting project on my website in the coming weeks.
From a design perspective I’ve long said we can change our lives by improving our environment and, on World Environment Day, I want to reiterate that in a literal sense. Being part of the sustainability movement is all about adapting how you live right now and make it work for the future, rather than thinking you always have to start from scratch. It’s time to leave the politicians to bury their heads in the sand and take small steps to protect the future of our planet.