With the world's plastics problem spiraling hopelessly out of control, the least we can do is find ways to re-use disposable plastic items before they go into that landfill forever. It's particularly galling to see all of the plastic in the ocean where it causes harm to aquatic creatures that
Design requires, by necessity, a lot of iterations of an object before you get it "right." What do you do with the eleven 3D-printed models you cranked out before settling on design #12? A company called ReDeTec (which stands for Renewable Design Technology), was in attendance at the World's Fair
Cyrill Gutsch talks about plastic use the way doctors talk about drug addiction. In a way, he's not far off. Although wildly harmful to the environment, plastic has become engrained into the worlds of design and manufacturing as a go-to material that simply gets the job done. Cyrill Gutsch and his company Parley are on a multi-faceted mission to end this mentality by ridding the world of plastic—entirely.
Ant farms are lame because the ants don't really do much, other than walk around showing off how much weight they can carry. Wouldn't you rather have an indoor beehive, where you can see the little buggers making honey? "I sure would," you say, "but I don't want to get
Your dog shits free energy. As do mine. And every day I pick it up with a plastic bag and throw it in the garbage, where it does no good. British inventor Brian Harper is doing something about this. Harper lives in Worcestershire's Malvern Hills, designated an Area of Outstanding
When Erik Ahlström moved from Åre, a ski resort town in central Sweden to Stockholm, he had a strong first impression of the capital: "Det ser ju ut som en soptipp," which translates as "It looks like a dump." Ahlström, an environmentalist, was put off by the amount of litter
Pesticides are bad for humans, and they've been linked to everything from birth defects to cancer. They're not much better for the environment: In "Sustaining the Earth," textbook author G. Tyler Miller--the man who literally wrote the book on environmental science--points out that over 95% and 98% of sprayed herbicides
We're happy to share the winners of the sixth iteration of the Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge, presented by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in collaboration with Autodesk and Arconic Foundation. The series of six global challenges invited designers, sustainability professionals and students to redesign products for
To say that the air quality in Chinese cities is bad is an understatement, as you can see below. Statistics and image via Air Quality Index China To tackle this, the municipal government of the city of Xian (population 8.7 million), the capital of Shaanxi province, has constructed what is
When you picture New York City you probably don't envision greenery, but in fact the city has some 5.2 million trees in parks, lining streets and in people's yards in the outerboroughs. Each year, as in nature, a number of them become damaged by storms or age and must be
In our homes, the budget-minded among us will turn a light off when leaving a room. There's no point in paying for electricity when no one is around to reap its benefits. But this money-saving tactic has traditionally not been possible with highway lights, which municipalities are obligated to leave
I had a transparent reusable water bottle I used to bring to my training hall, but I stopped using it because these gross black dots were forming on the inside near the bottom and they were difficult to scrub out, even with a bristle brush. The developers of the
Designers Lisa Siedlecki and Jennifer Silbert worked in fashion and architecture, respectively, two industries where they saw their share of wasted materials. Three years ago they'd had enough and quit, teaming up to produce something useful and ecologically responsible. "We started Rewilder to combat the fast fashion craze with meticulous
Sustainable Surf is a California-based nonprofit that seeks to use surf culture to get people interested in environmental issues concerning our oceans. When they recently teamed up with Mafia Bags, an upcycling bag manufacturing company, to create a useful backpack, they found the perfect designer for it: Yves Behar.
One of the best parts of camping is sitting around a fire with your friends--unless you're in that position where the wind is blowing the smoke directly in your face. BioLite has solved this with their FirePit, an intelligently-designed sort of floating hearth that uses 51 air jets to
Maybe you buy a backpack for your new camping hobby, then discover you hate camping. Or there's a two-year-old jacket in your closet that you hardly ever wear because it looked better on you in the store. Maybe you received a better bike light as a birthday gift, and now
Imagine living millennia ago, in a time when you've never seen a horse. Everywhere you and your tribe go is by walking. Then one of you discovers horses and figures out how to ride one. Now you've discovered the perfect sustainable transportation system. Horses eat grass, which is free. That
Designers have a critical role to play by envisioning products made with safe materials that can be perpetually cycled, and that eliminate the concept of "waste". The C2C Product Design Challenge enables current, emerging, and future designers to learn and apply critical strategies for envisioning products for the circular economy,
Nike's Flyknit has become synonymous with the brand, now used in everything from sneakers to sports bras. The knit material is more sustainable than many materials used in footwear and fashion, mainly due to its minimal waste production. But since Flyknit's conception in 2012, Nike has been more focused on
What happens when you plug your Prius in? Are you ultimately drawing power from coal, nuclear, wind, biomass? It depends on where you live. Most of us know that America generates its electricity from a multitude of sources, as shown in this graphic: However, that pie chart doesn't accurately represent
As we recently learned, much of our planet's supply of drinking water is infested with plastic microfibers. Single-use plastic items like shopping bags and drinking straws are some of the culprits. To combat the impact of discarded plastic bags on the environment, an Indonesian company called Avani has created
In the upcoming movie Downsizing, filmmaker Alexander Payne, the guy who did Election, Sideways and About Schmidt, has come up with a way to address the world's overpopulation crisis: Use science to shrink people down to just five inches in height. Think about it: You can have a huge house
Performance sneakers made from wool sound too warm and itchy to be true, so we were intrigued when Allbirds took to Kickstarter to pitch their Wool Runners to the world back in 2014—and reached their maximum target in just five days. When you think about this classic example of an
Benjamin Hubert of LAYER design will be launching a furniture collection for UK furniture company Allermuir at London Design Festival's Somerset House. The three piece collection consisting of a chair, a barstool and a small café table will be amongst many projects at the center for engaging design discussion and
Because Orb Media is a nonprofit journalism organization, they don't have to worry about pissing off advertisers or manufacturing sensational stories to attract eyeballs. Instead they can focus on their mission, which is to research and produce stories of global import. Their goal is to write about issues that affect
Volkswagen, whose reputation is still reeling from their emissions-cheating scandal, desperately needs a hit product. The company is unique in that they had the world's longest-running, most-produced car ever in their venerable Beetle, a/k/a the Type 1; between 1938 and 2003, some 21.5 million rolled off of assembly lines
A gent named Kjell Inge Røkke is one of Norway's richest men, worth some $2.6 billion. He made his fortune in the shipping and offshore drilling industries. "The sea has given me great opportunities. I am grateful for that," Røkke told Aftenposten. "I will give back to the community the
The official first day of summer was this week, and with that begins plans for epic outdoor adventures. To help jumpstart your planning, we've compiled a list some of our favorite items that camping objects that feel essential rather than overdone and help make sure you conduct your camping or
The bi-annual Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge asks emerging designers to develop new solutions for improving our environment through sustainable design. Each iteration of the challenge brings us closer to realizing the imperative to create a circular market standard. Presented by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in
Since taking the role of head designer at IKEA several years ago, Marcus Engman has led a great effort to match the most well-known furniture company in the world with the best designers working in the business today. Why? Because he believes that high-quality design should be accessible to anyone.
Planetary Power HyGen is a hybrid generator that combines high-efficiency technology with integrated lithium-ion batteries, providing a vital communication link to outlying populations. It is a cost-effective, sustainable, and reliable alternative to conventional generators for use at off-grid telecom towers. HyGen’s engine runs at variable speeds and only operates to charge its batteries, making the batteries the primary power source. Fuel consumption is reduced by 60%, extending the refueling
This year's Ventura Lambrate themes are Social Design and Cultural Heritage—two very open-ended themes that invite designers to show work that address global change and/or represents their country of origin. We're happy to see most designers bringing thought-provoking work along these lines to the table. Within the two themes, we're
Outside of America, lots of countries have more than three measly recycling bins, with consumers trained to separate different types of plastic to make things easier at the recycling facilities. A local in Korea explained to me that after you're done with a drink bottle, the caps (polypropylene) go into one bin, while the bottles (PET) go into another.
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