Design with environment in mind
To consider and control both environmental and social aspects at the moment of designing can be a very hard job, but here are my top design products to inspire you:
1. Reducing the amount of different materials used makes the product easier to recycle. This lamp uses only cork and metal, no screws nor glue.
2. Using locally sourced materials reduces the negative environmental impact caused by transport and boosts local economies, usually improving social development. These containers were made in Mexico using the fiber of an edible fruit that grows from a vine that grows in the area.
3. Considering standardised measures of materials can generate less waste. This desk was designed using one sheet of plywood with very little wasted.
4. Making use of recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials will reduce the environmental impact. This water container is made of recycled paper, which is easier to recycle than plastic.
5. Painting a material usually complicates the recycling process. It’s nice to take advantage of the natural appearance of materials. This cube toy was designed taking advantage the natural beauty of the material.
6. Looking after fair trade conditions will promote that products are developed in an environment that ensures decent working conditions and fair remuneration for workers. This means that a socially responsible product will improve the overall quality of life of the people involved with it. These baskets were made by indigenous people of the Philippines using traditional basket weaving techniques, with local materials upcycling old plastic containers. This project was made to boost this certain community.
7. Designing for disassembly will help the people in charge of recycling the product making all parts easy to pull apart. This can be achieved by avoiding the use of adhesives to bond materials of different types. Mechanical joints are always better, like this wooden stool that uses no glue and no screws, it structures it self by the way it was designed.
8. Giving a second function to a product causes the product to extend its use stage. This bottle cap doesn’t have to go in the garbage. It can be a toy instead.