How Product Design Today Can Make the World More Sustainable Tomorrow

The issue of sustainability has become part of discussions in the production industry. Our social well-being, as well as our environment, depends on the sustainable development of products. Many households these days use electricity to power appliances such as irons and electric kettles. Some of these products aren’t energy efficient. A large percentage of the world wastes electrical energy that can otherwise be used to light up street lamps.

So, what’s sustainability? We can define sustainability as a design approach that focuses on social, environmental and financial elements. The aim of this approach is to come up with practical solutions that are eco-friendly. Some of the ways to achieve sustainability in product design include proper management of waste and making use of natural resources. All this can be done through reducing over-consumption, embracing diversity, reusing, recycling and minimizing the carbon footprint.

In today’s business world, almost everything revolves around technology. The digital items we use affect our environment. There are several apps used for activities such as shopping, printing, sharing documents, food, transportation, travel and much more. Companies should be more conscious when developing products that influence the daily habits of consumers. They need to consider the impact of their goods on the environment. Many businesses have already embraced the idea of creating sustainable products. Studies show that these kinds of products improve sales and the consumer experience.

For a more sustainable tomorrow, designers should consider different factors. Their solutions must be in line with the requirements of sustainability. The usability and functionality of products can help conserve the environment. Companies need to offer products that consume less energy and last longer. When you have a durable item, you won’t need to buy new ones after every few months. This will help in reducing the amount of non-degradable waste.

Avoiding the usage of plastics in product design is important. Many eco-friendly materials can be used to create sustainable products are readily available. Food delivery services, for instance, should avoid including plastic cutlery in their deliveries. This way, consumers will get used to the idea of using their silverware. Plastic cutlery is not only bad for the environment, but it can affect the health of consumers. All types of businesses need to educate their customers on the importance of sustainability. The best way to do this is through the production of eco-friendly items.

Product designers have to take into account the type of energy they use in production. They should avoid any form of energy that emits greenhouse gases such as chlorofluorocarbon and carbon dioxide. Some of the “green” energy solutions include wind farms and solar panels. Manufacturers of electronics should include energy-efficient features in their products. For instance, they can include solar panels as an alternative to battery power or electricity. Besides, manufacturers need to encourage their consumers to go green.

The best way to ensure we have a healthy environment in future is to start making sustainable products today. Product designers have a responsibility to help the world secure a sustainable tomorrow. Every business should work towards keeping the environment clean.

Andrew Charlton Discusses the Economics of Solar Energy and Other Renewable Resources

The slow shift away from the widespread use of non-renewable energy resources is largely the product of the continued resistance of those who either have some sort of economic or other personal interest at stake or perhaps have nothing more than a general aversion to rapid change. Andrew Charlton points out that those who remain opposed to the implementation of clean energy resources such as solar or wind have moved away from their original argument that the science on climate change and human involvement had not yet been resolved. Instead, according to Charlton, the opposition’s argument is now centered on the economic feasibility of such rapid and widespread change.

Perhaps this is why a group of scientists and economists has created the Global Apollo Program. In order to combat the economic argument in opposition to the shift to solar power — as well as other green energy resources — the Global Apollo Program has adopted a stated goal of making solar energy cheaper than the new coal-burning plants that have been offered as an alternative. In fact, a number of politicians in the United States have taken to referring to coal as a viable green energy option while noting it is also one of the most cost-efficient options available.

The Global Apollo Program hopes to accomplish its goal within a decade and will rely on funding from countries all over the world. Countries committing to the project are asked to contribute a relatively meager sum of .02 percent of GDP for an initial sum of $15 billion. Considering the global investment of public funds into renewable energy research checks in at just $6 billion, it is clear that countries all over the globe have to approach this pressing issue with a much greater sense of urgency.

Marlon Kobacker Discusses Need to Raise Greater Awareness Regarding Air Travel and Sustainability

Marlon Kobacker Air TravelIt’s a part of the global climate change equation that is often overlooked, yet the air travel industry is responsible for significant contributions to the carbon emissions that are having such a significant impact on the rapid alterations in climate occurring all over the globe. Marlon Kobacker, a sustainable energy advocate who is now heading up a new venture called Sustainable Future Group, noted that while there is indeed a significant need to raise greater awareness regarding this critical issue, progress worthy of praise is nonetheless being made.

In seeking to reduce each company’s reliance on a single source of jet fuel while also reducing the carbon emissions produced by their national and international flights, both Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand have partnered on a project designed to identify local sources of biojet fuel. Recognizing that air travel is the source of close to 10 percent of global oil consumption, the effort recently undertaken by Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand demonstrates that while public demand for sustainability across all industries can serve as a motivating force, it is more likely that widespread adoption of clean technologies will occur when there is also a financial incentive as well.

Even though solar flights are traveling increasingly impressive distances using light aircraft, the technology is not yet in place in which it can be used for large-scale commercial flights. For the time being, the kind of progress in which biojet fuel is recognized as an entirely viable option for companies like Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand is indeed a step in the right direction.

Marlon Kobacker on the Potential Long-Term Environmental Consequences of Fracking

While countries all over the globe have been working diligently to act in a more responsible manner when it comes to energy production and carbon emissions, there are still many barriers in place effectively preventing or delaying the necessary switch to sustainable sources of energy. One of these barriers takes the form of hydraulic fracturing — more colloquially known as “fracking” — a process that targets otherwise inaccessible reserves of oil and gas.

John Pryor rugby
In the United States, Marlon Kobacker points out, the use of fracking has played a sizable role in reducing the cost of gas, with proponents of its use suggesting that carbon emissions are drastically reduced when compared to the energy generated through coal. These same proponents also suggest that fracking can be accomplished safely and that any pollution caused by the process is due to improper methods rather than issues with the process itself. There have been concerns raised that the process may contaminate the groundwater in the area and could release chemicals with carcinogenic properties into a local water supply.

Named161The issue of fracking was broached at a recent presidential debate between the two democratic candidates, and the manner in which the subject was discussed only served to highlight the unknowns regarding the long-term consequences of such a process. Though one candidate, Bernie Sanders, definitively declared his position against the practice of fracking, Hillary Clinton suggested that she supported the process provided it was done safely. While the latter position is certainly fair, it’s also worth noting that the total environmental cost may not be known until many years from now.

It’s not entirely clear whether it is even possible for fracking to be done safely, particularly given the general misunderstanding regarding the potential long-term consequences of this practice. Since fracking is mostly done in just a few highly concentrated areas, there are still many people who are largely unfamiliar with what the practice entails and what environmental damage can result. One study, according to Marlon Kobacker, concluded that there was a very high probability that fracking was the cause of two recent earthquakes in the United Kingdom measured at magnitudes of 1.5 and 2.2.

This is not the only issue with fracking, however. Since fracking has indeed been successful in reducing the price of gas by accessing previously untapped gas and oil reserves, some of the financial incentive to switch to cleaner, renewable sources of energy has largely been removed. Legislators may have been more likely to enact widespread changes aimed at reducing carbon emissions if the cost of gasoline was still exceptionally high, but they are now finding it harder to drum up the kind of public support necessary to shift away from fossil fuels during a time in which the price has dropped so precipitously.