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  • #55553
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    There’s a common misconception that apartment blocks must be more sustainable than stand-alone houses, due to the economies of shared space. They’re not. The energy consumed by indoor lighting in common areas, lifts, extractor fans to keep air flowing and the fact that water has to be pumped to the top of the block can give homes …
    https://www.flat-chat.com.au/leftovers-recycling/

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  • #55623
    Mailbox
    Flatchatter

    Just on your featured item this week… you can have your own food scraps recycling unit inside your kitchen

    Check out Breville’s web site.
    https://www.breville.com/au/en/products/food-disposal/bwr550.html

    For the price  paid i didn’t mind as in my mind i doing my part…I have arranged with the gardener to place the dried chips into the garden by digging holes

    I live in a apartment..Purchased this at the start of the year…
    Now i have almost no garbage at all, I recycle every thing, things i can’t place in recycling bins at the building i take to Woolies..

    #55624
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    I didn’t know such a thing as a domestic food scraps recycling unit even existed.

    Very handy for people living in areas where there is no council collection and composting isn’t available.

    But read the very honest customer reviews … it’s not for everyone.

    #55572
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    The first thing that strikes me is that these articles (like many others on the internet) are based on Northern Hemisphere experience, where they are more interested in heating homes than here in Australia, where cooling is at least as much of an issue (and I don’t know how they stack up relative to each other).

    Often we are comparing ducks and apples.  A modern cross-ventilated apartment in a low rise block with no lifts to drive or underground car park to ventilate or light, is clearly going to be more efficient than an air-conditioned penthouse on top of a high building with lots of interior lights and other power-hungry devices in the building (which would have used a lot of energy just to build).

    How does that compare with a draughty old house in the suburbs?  Beats me!

    Some of the studies I’ve seen quite validly take into account proximity to public transport and local shops and schools  in calculating the carbon footprint of homes, all of which tilt things in favour of apartments. But there are so many more issues – like the relative age of the buildings, for instance.

    I suppose the most direct comparision would be a modern house in the same street as a modern apartment, but my broad generalisation was based on average apartments that do have power-chomping facilities and don’t have the latest low emission plant and fittings. So I’ll stick tentatively to my guns on that basis.

    Where apartments can score well in the sustainability game is when their carbon footprint is addressed as thoroughly and efficiently as possible so everyone in the block is making a contribution, if only passively.

    The CBS link is interesting – thanks for that.  The comparison between using a cotton bag a couple of times against reusing a plastic bag till it falls apart is pertinent. I sometimes wonder if we are heading for a fake hessian bag crisis – I’ve got cupboards full of them – but I do carry a rolled up nylon bag I got from Woolies wherever I go.

    And you wonder if it’s worth it when some dunderheads can’t summon the energy to empty their recyclables out of the plastic bag they carry them in, and take a few more steps to but the bag in a separate bin.

    #55570
    Laddie
    Flatchatter

    Thanks for your notes.  I’ve put a few links below, although none of these are original research.  I always thought it was heating that was particularly more efficient as the apartments are stacked (obviously).

    BTW, have been enjoying the Flat Chat Podcast.  Keep it up!

    https://www.domain.com.au/news/smaller-homes-key-to-reducing-emissions-un-report-914093/

    https://citu.co.uk/citu-live/whats-the-carbon-footprint-of-an-apartment

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trying-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint-dont-fall-for-these-myths/

    #55567
    Laddie
    Flatchatter

    Your article states that apartments have a much larger carbon footprint than houses.  Are you sure that’s right?  Plenty of articles suggesting that apartments have about half the footprint of houses.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by .
    #55569
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter
    It depends on how you calculate the carbon footprint and if you are comparing like for like.  But considering that houses don’t have interior lighting in lift lobbies and car parks, or garbage compactors, or garage gates, or lifts, or giant electric fans and don’t have to pump water up above the third storey, plus there is all the extra energy used in construction, I find it hard to see how houses could be less sustainable.

    That said, a three-bed flat in a low-rise block may well be more sustainable that a three-bed house. I would certainly be interested in seeing some of the articles that you have read that contradict my point of view.
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