All tagged Environment

How We Designed Microplastics into our Diet

Disposable plastic and mesh bags both tick all the boxes when it comes to meeting business and consumer needs, from economic and functional standpoints. But when we look at their entire life cycle, we see that plastic and mesh bags are not a good choice, but a terrible one. It’s a reminder of a question we need to ask ourselves before designing or producing anything: have we really considered the wider system impact? If design choice got us into the plastic problem we now face, then we need to think carefully about how to more responsibly design our future to avoid making the same mistakes.

Long-Term Plastic Pollution for Short-Term Profits

With our growing knowledge about plastic in the environment, it astounds me that we are still using plastic toy based promotions. These sort of promotions product temporary profits that wear off, leaving everyone with a plastic hangover. Meanwhile, our focus on short-term thinking creates long-term problems that we will deal with for generations to come. Christopher Roosen explores.

Planned Obsolescence

Planned obsolescence, the process of intentionally designing things to fall out of fashion, function or repair makes a fundamental assumption of infinite resources that can be converted to things. But ecosystems are not infinite. So the onus is on all of us to make better choices. Those of us who make things and those of us who buy them.

A Lawn Story

The humble personal lawn, one per household, seem to be an intrinsic part of life, mainly because we don’t remember the choices and incentives that went in to making them that way. Strangely, our individual and personal lawns may be a powerful force of environmental destruction. We are caught in the grip of an irrational set of historical design choices.

The Revenge of the Small

There are many social and environmental challenges we face that are realtively easy to visualise. Things like crowding, poverty and drought. Strangely, it’s the small things that are often the biggest problem. Especially when there is a lot of them. 

Nespresso: Innovation or Disaster?

The Nespresso capsule based business model is held up as an innovation and value to users. Digging deeper shows this to be a dangerous illusion. There are hidden costs to business models that consume the environment. We can change that though, by how we work in organisations, give them feedback and what products and services we choose to buy.