Wednesday, November 15, 2006

haute ideas for eco designers: 15 facets of sustainability

I found this somewhere, sorry can't remember...but I love these points of sustainable design to adopt and live by:

Buying local products supports the local economy and helps
foster unique local design. Buying local also reduces the need for packaging and shipping.

Made from waste materials or designed to be easily recycled at the end of their lifespan. In
some cases a product may employ a combination of these strategies.

Vetted by organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design (LEED) to meet strict ecological standards.

Made from materials that are organically grown, without the use of harmful pesticides or
petroleum fertilizers.

Made from natural resources that are grown and harvested in a manner that insures the
viability of the resource for future generations.

Produced in a socially responsible manner. These products may comply with fair trade
practices, they may employ cooperative labor or actively seek to build community as a by-
product of their production.

Produced by human labor. Handcrafted products are endowed with warmth, personality,
uniqueness and even flaws, that make them particularly valuable in our age of machine
built homogeneity.

Biodegradable products return to the earth. They may even decompose into nutrients that
will help nurture the growth of new materials or foods.

Long lasting products become heirlooms. When a product is a thing of great beauty,
exhibits extraordinary craftsmanship, exceptional originality or utility, it can last for
centuries and enrich both our material and aesthetic cultures.

Some ideas are just too good not to share. Open source designs are free to use, modify and
redistribute. The intention of open source design is to allow others to use and improve upon
an idea in order to benefit society as a whole.

Products or materials that are reused at the end of their intended lifecycle for a new
purpose. Repurposed products keep valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators by
giving them a new life. The results are often unexpected and delightful.

Energy or materials saved through considered design. Efficient products optimize the use of
materials, minimize waste and conserve energy in their production, transport or use.

Alternative energy sources are employed to power the product. Wind it, shake it, crank it
or harness the sun, wind or water. The result is clean, efficient, endless energy.

Appreciation of the humble, incomplete and impermanent. Wabi Sabi is the Japanese
aesthetic that points to the beauty of imperfection. This concept is a tonic for our
obsession with perfect objects that become disposable when scratched or dented.

Clean products strive to reduce or eliminate toxins and contaminants in the materials and
processes that are used to make them.

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