Design for Disassembly:
Sometimes shortened to DfD, this is a design approach that enables the easy recovery of parts, components, and materials from products at the end of their life. Recycling and reuse are noble intentions, but if a product cannot be disassembled cleanly and effectively they are impossible, or at least cost prohibitive to achieve.
Shoes With Soul:
Because the Earthkeepers 2.0 collection was engineered with disassembly in mind, approximately 70 to 90 percent of the materials that make up each shoe can be reused or recycled, including the detachable metal hardware.
Image Source: http://www.atissuejournal.com/2010/03/31/design-for-disassembly/
Recycling is an important tenant of sustainability, but in order to be effective, products need to be easily disassembled into component parts and separated by material. If this is difficult, these products simply end up in the landfill instead.
Design for the Environment:
The consumer and the industrial & institutional products should be safer for the environment.
Design for the Equity:
The Sustainable designs should also look at the often ignored third pillar of sustainability – Social justice and Equity.
An artisan making incense sticks from bamboo with his indigenously manufactured bamboo splinter machine. Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), apart from playing a significant role in meeting national objectives of balanced growth, poverty alleviation and equity promotion, serve as nurseries for corporate enterprises of future. Thus, MSME financing is the latest buzzword in the financial sector in India.
Also known as extended product responsibility (EPR), this approach is based on the principle that all those involved in the lifecycle of a product should share responsibility for reducing its environmental impact. It often results in voluntary partnerships among manufacturers, retailers, government, and non-government organizations to set up effective waste-reduction systems and practices.
Players of product stewardship: All those involved in producing, selling, and using products should be responsible for the full environmental impact of the product. This includes manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and government.
Cradle to Cradle:
William McDonough and Michael Braungart popularized the notion that product lifecycles should be considered not as cradle to grave, but as cradle to cradle. The key idea here is that there is no such thing as a “grave” at the end of use, since everything goes somewhere. As they say, there is no such thing as “away.” Given that, in order to be sustainable all of the elements of a product that has reached the end of its useful life should be designed to go somewhere where it can serve as the input to another system, a concept often characterized as “waste = food.” While product development processes may focus on cradle to gate, cradle to grave, or even gate to gate plans, effective lifecycle planning needs to find ways to close all possible loops.
Materials that can be used in continuous metabolisms without losing their integrity or quality. In this manner these materials can be used over and over again instead of being “downcycled” into undefined products, ultimately becoming waste.
Source: CATALYST Strategic Design Review
Nature has spent millions of years developing some very interesting and effective solutions to a wide range of design challenges. Biomimicry is “the practice of designing materials, processes, or products that are inspired by living organisms or by the relationships and systems formed by living organisms.” Such inspiration comes in two forms, as either “challenge to biology” or “biology to challenge.” In the first case, a design challenge exists and designers search nature for potential solutions. The second case entails starting with an interesting biological property that researchers or scientists attempt to apply more broadly or commercialize. Note that just because a solution is based on nature doesn’t mean that it’s inherently healthy or sustainable.
The flexible photovoltaics below not only capture the sun’s energy, but the flexibility of these photovoltaics permits energy to be collected from motion. The idea is taken from leaves moving in the wind.
From the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design:
Turning whale power into wind power:
The “tubercles on the leading edge of humpback whale flippers” help humpbacks glide through the ocean with greater ease. This idea has been applied to wind power in order to increase efficiency.
Green chemistry focuses on reducing the generation and use of hazardous chemicals, decreasing pollution at its source. Paul Anastas and John Warner published the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry in 1998 and set out the following design goal.
Chemical products and processes should be designed to the highest level of this hierarchy and be cost-competitive in the market.
1. Source Reduction/Prevention of Chemical Hazards
2. Reuse or Recycle Chemicals
3. Treat Chemicals to Render Them Less Hazardous
4. Dispose of Chemicals Properly
Image Source: http://www.abccompounding.com/abc/dfe.php
Design for the Environment assures that the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) scientific review team has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects, and contains ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.
Many companies find that promoting the environmental responsibility, or even just the benefits, of their products can be a powerful marketing angle. Touting the “green” aspects of existing products, processes, or systems has become almost the standard in many industries.