Introduction to Eco Design
Within a few years, there have already been a few changes in the way we live our lives. I’m talking about the waste we produce from a consumer and how we can reduce this consumption.
Clever marketing, clever thinking and creative processes are making a small yet massive impact on our culture and most importantly our precious home, planet Earth
What I’ve seen this far is quite amazing.
Companies around the world are reinventing some of their most famous products to help the environment. From global firms to small businesses, companies are looking at ways of reducing the damage to the environment.
I’m not saying I have the answers to the Earth’s problems however I help in small amounts which have dropped my Carbon Footprint. Since becoming a father and with another one on the way, I want to live in a place that my children will be able to live in. Change starts at home so with a few simple habits we can all do our bit.
Here are a few things I have done that has changed my lifestyle a little:
Ecoegg, founded in 2008, has built its success by providing effective eco-friendly laundry and cleaning products. They produce innovative products that are free from harsh chemicals and kind to your skin and environment. Ecoegg’s products also help their customers’ pocket by being longer-lasting and costing less per use.
I’m a big fan of the The Ecoegg Laundry Egg. This mineral based clothes washing system works without the use of harsh chemicals. They take their responsibility to the planet very seriously, it’s central to everything they do and every decision they have made.
They commit to:
- Always source raw materials which have the least impact on the environment
- Only use FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified paper and board for packaging
- Only use vegetable-based inks for packaging and printing
- Mark packaging with clear and concise recycling instructions
Another thing I have recently done is use reusable nappies. Using cloth nappies means that much less waste is sent to landfill sites. About eight million disposable nappies are thrown away every day in the UK and it is thought they could take hundreds of years to decompose.
Disposable nappies make up four per cent of landfills in the UK. It’s estimated that by using cloth nappies for just one child, parents could divert as much as 874kg from landfills. On top of this they can also reduce their carbon footprint by up to 40 per cent compared to using disposables.
But this isn’t really why I’m talking to you today. I’m really going to show you a few things that I have seen along the way that you might think…hmm that’s clever or wow I need to have some of them in my life from a design perspective.
One thing I did see that did pique my interest is something that China is currently working on. China produces 80 billion, yes 80 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks. This equates to a total of 3.8 million deforested trees at a rate of 100 acres of forest destroyed a day. Which means that China only has 3.38% left of its forest remaining.
So their rational creative thinking has allowed them to create 15 million edible Chopsticks which you’ll be able to eat or throw away (as the chopstick will decompose in a week). This will reduce the number of chopsticks being thrown away and reduce the use of the forest.
Where did I hear this? I saw this on a post that D&AD have done on LinkedIn.
D&AD Impact seeks to identify and celebrate these great, transformative, creative ideas that have had real impact and, ultimately, contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all. What’s more, they award a prize fund of $20,000 at last year’s D&AD Impact Awards. The winner was chosen by judges based on eligibility criteria such as alignment with D&AD Impact’s values, its scalability and how the fund would be utilised.
- Civic Engagement
- Community & Interaction
- Diversity & Inclusivity
- Environmental Sustainability
- Financial Empowerment
- Health & Wellness
- Humanitarian Aid
- Ocean Health & Wildlife
- Responsible Retail
- Smart Living
One campaign that stuck to mind is the #stopsucking campaign. 500 million straws are being used by Americans every single day in 2017. So creatives thought how could they get the message across for people to stop using plastic straws. The campaign saw actors, singers and campaigners post on social media and shout to the world that they will Stop Sucking. This boomed into a Challenge to upload a video using the hashtag #stopsucking pledging that they will stop using plastic straws.
All in all the total social reach was approx 76 million and total media impressions tallied at 831 million. They even made an entire city in the United State, Seattle, go strawless. The first ever city in the world to do this.
This has helped to keep 100 million straws out of the oceans.
Snap Pack – Beer Multipack Holder
There are companies who are turning to their own products and thinking how can they reduce the amount of single-use plastic. One example is Carlsberg.
Claimed as a world first for the beer industry, the Danish beer giant said it will reduce the amount of plastic used in traditional multi-packs by up to 76%. This is a huge number and how they will do it is amazing…
The Snap Pack holds Carlsberg Expørt cans together in a multipack form with small pieces of a specially developed glue, which is easily snapped apart when required, while strong enough to withstand handling to and from the store.
Additionally, Carlsberg announced new caps which remove oxygen to make the beer taste fresher for longer. They have also switched to Cradle-to-Cradle certified silver inks on labels to improve recyclability and a new coating on refillable glass bottles to extend their lifespan. And on top of that, they added a rebrand to it too. Why not!
Recycling Ocean Plastic
Another global brand that is cutting its production of plastics is Fairy, a P&G brand. Yes, that’s right the washing up liquid.
To raise awareness of the ocean plastic issue, Fairy launched its washing-up liquid in a bottle made entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic, including 10% ocean plastic. The project aims to educate consumers about ocean plastic pollution and the importance of recycling.
So how will the new Fairy bottle be created?
Plastic that washes up onto the UK’s beaches will be collected by volunteers, ground into pellets and then transported to P&G. From there, the material is transformed into Fairy Ocean Plastic bottles. The bottles are fully recyclable, so their plastic will continue to be reused when you’re finished with them, which diverts 8,000 tonnes of plastic from landfill every year for use in transparent bottles.
Other brands such as Ecover have also introduced this into their packaging making it also lightweight and pretty.
Ecover is already an industry leader in this space, using 100% reusable, recyclable plastic for its bottles, with almost all bottles made from 25% recycled content and 75% renewable plant-based plastic since 2012. The first limited-edition Ocean Washing-Up Liquid bottle was launched in 2014, containing 10% ocean plastic collected by fishermen in the North Sea.
We have one campaign that is getting traction that is very creative. Lush has launched refillable lipstick range to help customers cut down on plastic and excess packaging – one of the first of its kind in the UK.
Its new cruelty-free, vegan lipsticks come in a range of forty luxurious shades, without packaging.
Each lipstick bullet is coated in a peelable wax which you can simply remove before slotting the colour into a clean, old lipstick holder. You can either use an old lipstick holder form any brand or buy a new shade from the range. In 2015, one estimate suggested 61% of cosmetics and toiletries were packaged in plastic — and that figure was expected to grow 12% by 2019. However, with this, more and more brands will look to produce refillable products pathing the way for a decrease in plastic consumption in the cosmetic industry.
Recycle, Reduce, Reuse in Product Design
Marketing and creativity show how simple it is to recycle and reuse.
There is a lot to be said about the environment. We’ve been warned for years and it’s now starting to show that the planet is now on high alert. It must be serious if Sir David Attenborough is talking about it.
I love my home and I would like it to be better for my children’s children and many to come.
There are lots of ways you can reduce your waste, your carbon footprint or even harmful chemicals reaching our oceans, but they don’t have to be boring. Let it be known you’re doing something to save our blue world ball. We’ve only got one left, let’s keep it.
Here at Fifteen, we do our best to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, our toilet lights are switched off once someone has been, we recycle all our toners, paper and batteries too. And every day we are finding ways to reduce our waste as a company or as individuals.
Global warming is happening and it’s a shame it’s now. Let’s fight this and win back our planet. Go for green and believe in the power of creativity to change the world.