Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Wine Bottle sustainable design

Now in full production - the global re-design of wine bottles. 
The Lean and green wine bottle is designed to reduce the carbon footprint of glass bottles. They have been  designed to create durable, yet lighter weight bottles that are thinner but still appear the same to consumers. These bottles are upt to 28% lighter and made from 90% recycled glass!

This is more sustainable for the following reasons:
  • Less glass per bottle
  • Less energy and water used during manufacturing
  • More bottles per pallet
  • Cheaper to transport
  • Less material to dispose of or recycle
It's interesting that the research shows that the main design asthetic is the height of the bottle not the width.  Therefore these bottles are the same height but are a little slimmer to give the same appearance but using less material.
Next time you pick up a bottle of plonk - look around to see if you can spot the Lean and Green logo.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Cradle to cradle framework

The cradle to cradle framework is an outline of how design can be used to create sustainable products.
Essentially the idea is to design and manufacture products that reduce and reuse materials, resources and energy.  Cradle to cradle means that you can take the constituent materials and allow them to be be re-used in another process with minimal processing at the end of life (typically the cradle to grave life-cycle).

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) is a global sustainability consulting and product certification firm that have devised and oversee the Cradle-to-Cradle certification process.  They have four certification levels - check the website for details -->  www.mbdc.com

This certification process is for products and materials, but we can use the concepts to apply this sort of vision to anything we create.

Take the cradle-to-cradle concept into your next project!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

10 Signs that climate change is happening

1 - Global temperature trends estimated by four different research groups all show a warming of the Earth over the past century, with particularly rapid increases over the past few decades.

The groups are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, Britain’s Hadley Center and Climatic Research Unit (Univ. of East Anglia) and Japan’s meteorological agency.
Image: Michael Schlesinger / University of Illinois via DotEarth

2 - Since 1901, global average surface temperatures have risen at an average rate of 0.13ºF per decade. The United States has warmed at nearly twice the global rate since the 1970s.

Image: NOAA
Source: EPA

3 - The years between 1995 and 2006 rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850).

Image: Wikipedia
Source: IPCC 2007

4 - Average Arctic temperatures have increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years

Image: Wikipedia
Source: IPCC 2007

5 - Since 1978, the Arctic Sea ice shrunk on average 2.7% per decade, with larger decreases in the summer of about 7.4%. Arctic summer sea ice has decreased by roughly 34% since 1979.

Source: IPCC 2007

6 - Since 1960, glaciers worldwide have lost more than 2,000 cubic miles of water, contributing to observed changes in sea level rise.

Source: EPA

7 - Three different studies show that ocean heat content (the amount of energy the ocean absorbs) has increased substantially since 1955. Ocean heat content not only determines sea surface temperature, but also affects sea level and currents.

Source: EPA

8 - Between 1993 and 2005 sea level rose, on average, 3mm (0.1 inches) per year, attributed to an increase in melting ice and thermal expansion as the ocean absorbs excess energy.

Image: NASA
Source: NASA

9 - Intensity of cyclones (hurricanes, tropical storms, and other intense rotating storm) has risen noticeably over the past 20 years. Six of the 10 most active years have occurred since the mid-1990s, likely caused by increasing sea surface temperatures.

Image: IPCC 2007
Source: EPA

10 - Satellite images show the three lowest minimum extents of Arctic Sea ice were reached in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The 2007 total reflected a loss of 490,000 square miles of sea ice—an area larger than Texas and California combined. The Arctic summer could be ice-free by mid-century, according to a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Read more over at www.businessinsider.com/climate-change-global-warming-scientific-evidence-2011

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Recycled Design brings light to the worlds poorest communities

This is a great video that shows how the solar bottle-bulbs are being used in the Philippines. Although not graphic design - this shows how lateral thinking and the use of available resources can be used to create something that is cost efficient, sustainable and improves peoples lives.

It's a simple solution that uses recycled materials and the refractive properties of water. Apparently this was designed and developed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

If you're interested, here's a link to a high quality image that shows instructions to make your own!!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Green Packaging Design

Packaging is the one area where reduction of materials and a switch to more sustainable and recycled products is easy and cost effective.
This short video from Dell, the electronic manufacturer shows how they can re-design with sustainability in mind.

Dell embraces the three C's concept:
  • Cube - making the packaging smaller
  • Content - using sustainable or recycled materials
  • Curb - making package disposal as easy as throwing it into the recycling bin for curb-side collection

Does your packaging embrace the three C's?

If you're interested about sustainable packaging design, check out the PUMA Shoebox Sustainable Packaging Redesign.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Soy based inks introduction video

Here's a quick video that gives you an introduction about soy based inks.  It gives a quick explanation of why petroleum based inks became popular, and how the move to a more sustainable ink is beneficial to the printing process as well as the environment.

This information is covered in more depth if you check out the sustainable graphic design quick guide to inks. There's also some great information about the de-inking process at the bottom of the quick guide to inks.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Plastic - the sustainable designers quick guide

In the sustainable quick guide to plastics we'll look at the various types of plastic, the uses, identification codes and recyclability and at the end there is a brief summary of Bioplastics.

Most plastics can be recycled however there are a number of barriers to recycling.
During the recycling process the various types of plastics need to be separated, this is where clear marking and not mixing multiple types of plastic in one product are very important.
The other main barrier is getting the end-user to sort the waste into recycle bins and to have recycling facilities available to accept and process the waste.
In most countries plastic recycling rates are still very low, the best systems still only recycle 27% of all plastics.

Plastic Types:

PET - Polyethylene terephthalate
Used for: Drinks bottles, food jars, sauce bottles
Properties: Clear, strong, water and gas resistant
Recyclable: Most popular type of plastic to recycle, many countries have a good system to recycle PET plastic
PE-HD (HDPE) - High-density polyethylene
Used for: Drinks bottles, liquid soap, cleaning products, household buckets
Properties: Slightly opaque, stiff, strong, water resistant
Recyclable: Very popular type of plastic to recycle, many countries have a good system to recycle HDPE plastic

PVC - Polyvinyl chloride
Used for: Blister or clam packs, cling films (non-food grade), water pipes
Properties: Strong, tough, water resistant, versatile, easy to glue or heat seal
Recyclable: PVC is not as commonly recycled as type 01 or 02 plastics. In many places this is disposed of in landfills.

PE-LD (LDPE) - Low-density polyethylene
Used for: Food bags, squeezy bottles, food films, flexible containers
Properties: Flexible, water resistant, easy to heat seal, tough
Recyclable: Wrappers and bags are not usually removed from the waste stream.  Films and bags are less likely to have the recycle logo on it.

PP - Polypropylene
Used for: Yogurt & Margarine tubs, take-away containers
Properties: Strong, moderately flexible; heat, oil and water resistant
Recyclable: Depending on the size of the products, PP plastic may not be easily isolated and recycled.

PS - Polystyrene
Uses: Take-away containers, thin plastic food containers (eggs), party cups
Properties: Clear, easy to mold, thin wall thickness
Recyclable: Depending on the size of the products, PS plastic may not be easily isolated and recycled.

EPS - Expanded Polystyrene

Uses: Insulated containers, cold storage boxes, packaging
Properties: Lightweight, easy to mold, thermal barrier, shock absorption 
Recyclable: EPS is 98% air and can be reused into other products or broken down into General Purpose Polystyrene (GPPS) pellets.  EPS is not as commonly recycled as type 01 or 02 plastics. 

O - Other
Polycarbonate, ABS plastic and other combination of polymers.
Polycarbonate is used for clear, hardwearing items such as glass replacements in lenses and lamps.
Recyclable: Due to the mixture of compounds these plastic types are hard to recycle and are not generally recycled.

Bioplastics are derived from plant-based oils rather than petroleum-based. Some bioplastics are biodegradable but not all.
The most popular bioplastic is starch-based.  These can use a number of renewable plants/vegetables for the basic manufacturing materials.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a transparent plastic produced from cane sugar or glucose. It is very similar in to PE or PP.  This has given rise to problems in the recycling of PE and PP plastics as they will be contaminated if PLA is introduced into the waste stream.

The sustainable graphic design blog will cover Bioplastics in more depth in another article.

If you're interested in sustainable options, check out the sustainable graphic design quick guides here.