Thursday, October 11, 2007

How green is my valley?

Green design?

Some good things to PONDER here...
My conclusions: the current system is broken, and much work and change in what is now automatic behavior will be req'd.

Some good ideas here...I love the bedside lamp with a wind up key!


O.K. said...

There were some good and bad examples in that article. To reuse dead fluorescent lights as shades is plain stupid, why would it be a good idea to send glass tubes containing mercury back to the consumers instead of dispose them in a safe manner?

I like the wind-up lamp too, it would spare me from the situation of waking up at three o'clock with a lit lamp in my face.

When it comes to graphic design and it's part of it all, I think there's a inherent problem with that. The majority of the people working in that sector (correct me if you think I am wrong) do it to by in one way or another sell or help to sell material goods. Goods that have to be produced, transported and in the end disposed of. And in our modern consumeristic society the life cycle of a typical consumer product has become really short. As an example, a cell phone is made to last two years according to the manufacturers, then you are supposed to buy a new one.
Ever tried to get something that wasn't very expensive repaired recently? It is usually cheaper and easier to buy a new one.

Will they really bite the hand that feeds them? And what would happen to the economy if this cycle was to be broken?

The thought that consumers can change things are naive in my opinion, since there is no real alternatives in many areas. Personal transportation that uses petrol is a dead end for several reasons, hybrid cars are really just a phase. But to get a real alternative there must be changes in the infrastructure. Oil companies will not be interested in seriously promoting other fuels as long as they make a lot of money doing what they always have done, and will most likely fight new competitors. And is it really viable in the future to work and shop as far off from home as many persons do today?

The infrastructure, energy production and society in general must be more effective, not only because of global warming.

LS said...

Lots of issues to discuss after reading that blog PP linked to! I agree largely with O.K., but we just have to try to do the right thing anyway. I do think large companies doing the right thing can have larger effects than individual consumers on changes in production. But I also read recently in a book about food ethics, that McDOnalds (after being pushed by a small consumer group) started to require more space for the hens that produce the eggs for the McMuffins and such. It took only a few months and all the other fastfood chains did the same thing - they didn't want McDOnalds to be able to say they had more humanely produced eggs than their competitors.

Packaging drives me nuts! In another book I just read, there was (is?) wine deliveries in Paris that works just like the old milk bottle system. You leave the empty wine bottles by the door, and at the end of the day they are filled when you come home. Neat!

And how about shipping? A giant box filled with styrofoam peanuts that end up in the garbage for a tiny thing being shipped - it happens all the time.

There really aren't enough incentives to do the right thing. Saving the world isn't incentive enough, it is too much thinking in the long term. And yes, we are comfortable and won't give up certain things. But the easy things should be easy to give up, right?