Kategoriarkiv: energy

Climate-smart packing

climate-smart packing

A designer creates useful, attractive and inovative products, often with an environmental perspective in mind. In the future the environmental aspects will have a much greater role in the design industry. Something that i cherish and are looking forward to really much.

I think one challenge ahead is to design climate-smart packaging. Today we use a lot of package materials unnecessarily and some packages is bulky. We need to minimize our use of package materials and to construct practical packages that doesn’t take up more space than needed during transports.

The food industry is one example of one industry that need to change their way to package their products. When you buy a frozen meal you first open up a carton, and inside you will find the meal packaged in some sort of plate or bowl covered in plastic. The first carton is actually superfluous and instead the designers could come up with a smarter solution. It has also become more and more common to be healthy and eat a lot of fruit. For people on the run there often is some sort of pre packaged fruit that is already peeled. That is on great way to buy a lot of unnecessary plastics instead of buying a fruit that you will have to peel yourself! I mean come on, how much time do you even save on buying an apple that has been sliced instead of eating as you should?

In the cosmetics industry you will also find a lot of examples of superfluous packages. Sometimes mascara, lipstick and other make up is packaged in cartons, which is completely unnecessarily.

New materials, slim packaging, reduced package materials is things I think we will see in the future when companies realize that the customers want more eco-friendly products.

I have read about innovative companies that are experimenting with packaging out of seaweed and algae. Really interesting I think and probably things like this will be seen a lot in the stores in the future.

As a consumer you can choose to not purchase products with unnecessarily packages if you want to send a signal to the manufacturer and to the stores. Another thing you can do is to choose products packaged in carton instead of plastic.

Earlier I told you about that i play bingo online to reduce my emissions. Another thing I do is playing poker online at PokerStars.  A real casino consume a lot of card decks each day which is really bad for our environment. The casino decks aren´t worn out, they are changed so no player can cheat and take advantage from some microscopic mark at one of the cards. This is of course necessary if the casino want to protect the gamblers from cheaters, but I think it´s  a waste and now I only play poker online.

It was actually online that I learned to play poker! This site helped me when I was a beginner.

In sweden we have something called waste separation which means we throw our waste in separate trash cans depending on what material they are made of. For example we throw metal in one trash can and paper in another can so the materials can be recycled. This is also something we consumers can contribute to in order to improve the environment. To separate products like metalls, plastic and cardboard is only a small thing, but it is something that is easy, that everyone can participate in without saying no to anything. That is one very common reason that a lot of people doesn’t think about the environment, because they have to let things go in their life, that they really would like to have.

Bottled water

bottled water

Some inventions is both great and bad at the same time. Take bottled water for example. In some countries they are essential since you can’t drink the water from the taps and definitely should not do it, but in other countries they are polluters which contributes to littering nature, unnecessary power consumption and emissions from transports.

In Sweden the tap water is of good quality and drinkable. Still, many people buy bottled water instead of drinking tap water. That’s because some people want sparkling water or flavored water. Another reason to why we consume a lot of bottled water is that we buy water when we are out in the cities instead of filling our own water bottle at home and bring it with us.

The high prices at bottled water doesn’t seem to discourage people from buying it. But it has come an invention that reduce peoples need of buying bottled water: carbonating machines! By purchasing a carbonating machine you can produce sparkling water at home out of your tap water. You can also purchase flavor essences if you want to flavor the water.

Today carbonating machines can be found in many swedish homes thanks to smart functions and great design. Earlier I think the carbonating machines was kind of ugly and big, now you can buy slim machines in great design that you aren’t ashamed of to place on the sink. Look at the brand Sodastreamer for instance, they sell really good looking carbonating machines. By using such a machine you can get the sparkling water, even make your own soda with it, without having to bring home a lot of plastic bottles.

There are a lot of reasons to avoid buying bottled water, that they are bad for the environment is just one of these reasons. Another is that they aren’t that healthy as you think they are. Bottled water often contain much more bacterias than the swedish tap water. Sometimes they also contain to high levels of substances like flour and sodium. So if you have the possibility to drink tap water of high quality, that’s the best alternative both for you and for the environment.

Soda machines is just one thing that can make people drinking tap water. Great water bottles that you can bring with you and use over and over again is another thing that can make people buy less bottled water. Also there has been more and more commercial on the television that are trying to make people think about bottles and the environment. Really great i think!

Recently I saw a smart design of a water bottle. It was flat like an envelope and you could buy it in different sizes. I think this was a really smart idea because it’s not always you have space for these traditional round water bottles in your bag. I like smart design that solve peoples needs, and I think more smart products will lead people into buying less bottled water and other environmentally harmful products.

Save water and energy and save the planet!

Eco friendly energy from solar panels
Solar panels on rooftop generates electricity

It´s not only countries with shortness of freshwater that needs to conserve water, that´s something everyone have to think about since the water-system consume a lot of energy. You can also indirectly save water by consume less products that require much water to produce, for example coffe and clothes made of cotton.

Saving energy is very important if we shall create organic sustainable communities. This can be done by using less electricity. In a household this means you use low-energy lamps and use energy-efficient white goods. In Sweden all white goods you purchase in shops are marked with the energy class which makes it easy to choose the most energy-efficient product. Nowadays it is more easy to find low-energy lamps than to find the ones who aren’t. At least in Sweden it has become the norm to use low-eneryg lamps because it is such an easy way to make a difference. It isn’t more expensive either, so everyone can afford to by low-energy lamps as a start if you want to make a change in the world.

Another thing we can do is to save water by installing water-saving taps and shower heads, which is great example of environmentally friendly inventions. By using less water in our households we consume less energy. A water-saving tap use between 40%-50% less water than traditional taps. Today you can buy water-saving products in great designs. So you don´t have to choose between eco-friendly taps or beautiful taps, you can have it both. To not take long showers is also a tip on where you can consume less water, it is easy to find yourself just standing with the hot water running down your body without even thinking about how much time you spend in there. So next time, set an alarm for five minutes so you will have to speed up your shower!

If you want to buy a water-saving tap or shower mixer you can shop it at the furniture store IKEA that have department stores in many countries. They also sell white goods that are energy-efficient and various sorts of bulbs that use less electricity than conventional bulbs, like led-lamps and CFLs for example.

At IKEA you can also buy solar lamps for your garden or patio. By using solar lamps instead of lamps powered by electricity you save energy. I like how the designers at IKEA and many other companies develop environmentally friendly products in great designs. This makes it easier and more fun for the consumers to choose environmental friendly products.

Another way to save energy and water is to buy second-hand or products that have been made out of recycled raw-materials. It´s also good to buy products that can be recycled when they are outworn or broken. For example you can buy office furniture and furniture for your home that are 100% recyclable. Look for eco-labels when you purchase furnitures if you want to be environmentally friendly.

If you really want to live eco-friendly, you should also think about how your hobbies impact the environment. Car racing and golf are examples of things that aren´t optimal for our planet. I have found a way to reduce my environmental impact. Instead of taking the car to the bingo hall several miles away every week I play bingo online at tuesdays. In the bingo room online you can chat with the other players so you don´t have to feel alone. If you think it sounds strange you can learn more about it here.

This is just an example on how I have changed my hobby to a more eco-friendly variant. Maybe you can do the same?  I don´t mean that you should play bingo at home, but perhaps there´s a way you can make your hobbies greener. But if you do like bingo online I  recommend this site bingoomega for more information about the game.

In my next blog post I will write about how you can encourage companies to be more eco friendly!