We want to briefly discuss a few quick notes on sustainability design. The definition of sustainability is “conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.” This is a great definition, however, we like Nathan Shedroff’s definition from his book Design is the Problem: “Don’t do things today that make tomorrow worse.”

Design is the Problem

The challenge of sustainability is all around us. We mostly hear it as being “green” or “eco-friendly” and once upon a time, “reuse, reduce and recycle.” No matter what it is called, we should consider how our actions today affect tomorrow, just as Nathan’s definition suggests.

As packaging designers, we have the ability to suggest items that are good for the environment and strive for quality designs that will stand the test of time. We should use more energy upfront to create a design that will not need to be re-designed simply because of aesthetic reasons. Car models are a good example. In our opinion, the best cars are the models that have been around for awhile, like the Honda Accord or the Toyota 4Runner. Automakers are spending their time and energy refining these cars and not a lot of time re-designing a car to replace them.

Find some products that help our environment and think about recycling and reducing waste. At the same time, be somewhat cautious that it’s not only about buying green, because in most cases it’s better not to buy at all.

We’re nowhere near Catherine Mohr when it comes to being green, but it’s nice to know some people think about it at this level of detail. Enjoy!

Sustainability by Design

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