October 1, 2007
25 Tools for Greener Living
As the measures of sustainability grow even more sophisticated, these products rise to the occasion.
Going green is no longer just a fad. It’s a sign that more people realize the individual part each of us plays in reducing our overall impact on the planet. The daily actions we can take have long been understood, including buying durable water bottles instead of disposable ones and bringing your own reusable shopping bag to the grocery store. However, when it comes to long-term design decisions such as product selections, matters are a bit more complex.
While most designers know to opt for low-impact materials with recycled content, it is finally becoming easier to consider the full life cycle. Suppliers are making their environmental management systems known and are advertising the sustainable sources of their wares. Many sponsor take-back, reuse, and recycling programs. Another encouraging sign is the increased provision of “environmental product declarations,” which measure performance against numerous criteria. The selections culled for these pages go beyond basic sustainability—in both style and execution.