A growing number of Americans are concerned about the climate crisis. In 2020, the Pew Research Center reported that two-thirds of the country supports federal action to protect the environment, but progress has been slow to come. While recent government measures are promising, it can't hurt to look for greener approaches to our everyday lives in the meantime.
Designers are making this a bit easier by creating environmentally-friendly alternatives to famously wasteful products, like wet wipes and kitchen sponges. Many of our favorite new products do this with post-consumer plastic, energy-conscious manufacturing processes, and sustainable end-of-life practices. Most designers provided smart solutions to pandemic-era health concerns, like the well-known need to maintain clean spaces, or the lesser-known increase in sports-related injuries. These sustainable products also don't skimp on good-looking design, so consumers will actually want to use and display their wares. Check out some of our favorite eco-friendly entries from this year's Core77 Design Awards.
The environmental consciousness of this Notable Entry in Sports & Recreation begs the question: why isn't every tent sustainable? NEMO redesigned their best-selling Dagger tent with OSMO, a revolutionary, 100% post-consumer textile free of PFC and PFAS. It couples its eco-friendliness with roomy, durable, weatherproof design to provide its owners with a reliably comfortable experience in all kinds of environments. This smart, compassionate design allows campers to more fully enjoy the outdoors for considering and addressing the carbon footprint of camping. It's a perfect example of the first rule of camping: leave the site cleaner than you found it.
Since 2020, a sharp increase in foot injuries has left a lot of people with pains and aches they hadn't had before. While there are plenty of tools consumers can use to address them, you're unlikely to find one as earth-friendly as CastleFlexx. This Notable Entry in Sports & Recreation is a stretching tool that helps with pain management and injury prevention, so you can easily soothe and protect aching limbs. It's antimicrobial, accessible to all levels of physical ability, and made from recyclable aluminum, 100% recycled plastic, and sustainably harvested cork. It's built to last for decades, but consumers can easily send it back to the manufacturer for recycling.
While every space needs light to accommodate people, it often takes a great deal of literal and physical energy to do so. Large spaces usually come with large electricity bills—and that's after the hard labor of light installation. The L34 high-bay light provides a helpful solution to both problems with a compact, lightweight LED fixture that's easy to install and ship. This Notable Entry in Furniture & Lighting can light up vast areas with a fraction of the energy, and optimized design means it only takes up the space it needs to run. RAB Lighting also builds this high-quality, durable system with 30% of the leftover plastic from their manufacturing process.
How do you begin to solve a problem like shower liners? More often than not, this plastic product is wasteful, ugly, cheaply made, and a germaphobe's nightmare that takes no time to end up in a landfill. Thank god then for The Shower Liner System, a revolutionary product by The Outlines that won Core77's top design awards prize in the Home & Living category. This smart design comes with four components: a machine washable curtain, a recyclable liner made with non-toxic PEVA, steel anchors, and durable hooks built for easy installation.
Cleaning products like wet wipes became an urgent necessity in 2020, but the rise in sales has had an unfortunate environmental cost. Billions of wipes end up in landfills every year, and they can take up to a century to decompose. Biom is doing their part to help by creating wet wipes with plant products instead of plastic, and they made a durable, great-looking container to hold them. This reusable dispenser was a Notable Entry in our Home & Living category, and it's a great choice for consumers looking to keep their homes clean without harming the environment.
While sponges are essential to any clean kitchen, they cause a large amount of environmental strain. 50 billion kitchen sponges end up in landfills every year, and most will take 52,000 years to biodegrade. And though there's been a growth in environmentally friendly cleaning products on the market, few are actually efficient. Spongik created a welcome alternative with an eco-kitchen sponge set that's sustainable, high-quality, and aesthetically pleasing. It was a Notable Entry in our Home & Living category for a sleek, conscientious design we'd be proud to display in our kitchens.
Each project featured above was selected as an honoree in the 2022 Core77 Design Awards. You can check out all of the 2022 winners now on the Core77 Design Awards website!
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