Thursday, April 8, 2010

Materials- Creative Caffiene

10 Things That That are Unsustainable to Sustainable!

1. Cars
  - cars run on fossil fuels that are from nature but, the way we treat and process them it makes them into something new and unnatural.
  - things exist that are more sustainable, for example hydrogen-powered engines and corn (ethanol) powered engines
 - the transition to these is simple but, it would have to be more wide-spread
- have large public transit systems all over the United States and make it not taboo to ride the public transit.

2. Plastics
 - generally made of pvc and toxic chemicals
- when it is burned it is very bad for the environment
- there are more natural alternatives, like bio-polymers and natural resins that could be used as an alternative
                        - they also tend to be biodegradable and better for environment
3. Insulation
- is starting to get hot out and the winter was pretty cold, I had to go upstairs to check something the attic and I got the nasty fiberglass insulation all over me. It was gross!
- I remember that last semester, there is alternatives like denim that can be used instead of this nasty stuff
- fiber glass is harmful if you break it in, and as it breaks down it becomes airborne and ends up in your lungs and in the air.
- change the way we use air conditioning with opening windows and naturally insulating houses with heat pipes ect.

4. Plastic Water bottles, tea bottles, soda bottles
- we could always replace the material to be something biodegradable but, I don't think that is truly a solution. I mean yes it will solve the problem of the bottle in a landfill for 1000s of years but, it is still going to the landfill, we are still paying to ship it around and dispose of it. Instead, let's think of ways we could rethink the bottle!
- make fountains of your favorite drink in public locations where like a vending machine you put in your change take out your change and get a drink, but instead you take out your refillable container and fill it up with your favorite drink right from the fountain. There could be local distribution centers that pump it to these fountains or even have local soda shop manufactures and juicers that you get it in a pipeline directly from the manufacture.

5. Clothing
- we are in a culture of "style" where we don't make clothing to last, all it is good for is that fashion season
- I was seeing that Hanes has come out with a line of sustainable clothing, which is kinda cool, but it still would become useless over time
- if we rethought fashion and made it so that we were a "fashion-less" culture and you wore clothes that made you look good (not necessarily whats in style) and clothing that lasts repeated wear there would be less clothing waste.
- If we made clothign that was out of organic materials they tend to be softer hold up longer and be less harmful to your skin

6. Food
- the problem with food prices right now is directly connected in the rise in gas prices there are ways to make food more sustainable and cheaper
- there are plenty of things that we get shipped all over the country. There is a reason you can find oranges in your local grocery store all year round, it is because they are being shipped from all over the world to your neighborhood and this is EXPENSIVE
- what if we ate in season, this is what they did for hundreds of years before power and cars and it worked! and ya know what they didn't have as many problems with obesity as we do today

7. Electronic Waste and Planned Obsolencence
- so I work at an electronic store and I am constantly hearing "this didn't last as long as my old -insert electronic that is now broken", they are told when it is broken that it is cheaper just to buy a new one
- where does that old one go? most of the time to a landfill sometimes to an electronic recycler that just takes out the parts
- we can make electronics better for the environment but no matter what parts of it will be bad, i mean you can't make "bio-mercury" or "bio-lithium" it is just not a part of the element
- what if we went back t o making things that lasted, yeah they wouldnt be as cheap the first time around, but still, what if it lasted 5-10 years and then you could FIX it? I mean it would make the costs of electronics cheaper
- what if we made it so our old electronics could be upgraded to the "lastest and greatest", don't program them to be obsolete in a year or two

8. Cell Phones
- there is no reason we should get a new cell phone every year just to get the latest trendy model! I mean really now!
- cell phones need to be universal, if you change carrier or whatever you should be able to keep your phone if its in good working order, plus there should be a universal system of chargers.
- the only reason most chargers don't work in electronics is proprietary chips in them to keep it FROM working in other things. It's to keep you buying new chargers and cables then you misplace or break your old ones

9.Paper waste, use of paper
- electronics exists that can totally replace paper
- we live in a digital work there is no reason to be cutting down trees and wasting paper
- while these use electricity to run, it is far less then the electricity used in the milling process and the recycling process

10. Electricity
- There are ways in which we could be using less electricity every night, but we are a wasteful society, if we were more effiecient with our energy useage it wouldnt be so much of a problem
- Turn off the lights! you don't need 5 on in your house if your only in 1 room
- turn down the heat and the cool in the summer we keep our houses shut tight and don't use whats in the air around us!
- wind and solar power are big in other countries and very viable technologies but, people seem shy of them. they are a real opportunity to use our environment in non-impact ways

Materials- Sustainable Project Materials Sample Start

So, I was thinking of how natural materials are sustainable. I mean if they are made by nature they are natural and nature has a way to handle itself. I was thinking of how to use wool, wood, cork, leather and a few other things in as many ways as I could think of. 
Hand-spun yarn from Shetland wool.

(hehe more to come about all of this I am super excited)

Sustainable Design 2.0

Last semester I had my first dose of sustainable design-- it was enough to completely change my major. Sustainable Design is a necessary part of our future if we want to be able to continue the type of life we expect as Americans. Resources are running out point blank. There is NOTHING that can be done about fossil fuels besides to find ways to replace them. There is NOTHING to do with old trash, but to find BETTER trash. Objects can be made easy and affordable using sustainable materials and in general they will be stronger and better lasting then there non-sustainable predecessors.

What IS sustainability? Quite simply, it is the capacity to endure (wikipedia). Simple concept right? The ability to endure use, to endure production, to endure continual production. Sustainability is continual, and is a cradle to cradle production meaning the end result does not live in a landfill for hundreds of years.

Sustainable design has different factions and ideas to it. It is about the end user, the customer, having a product that is good for the environment that people feel is there own. That is where the idea of "customerization" comes into play. It is allowing the customer to determine the end result of the project. This is very interesting because it takes the final touches away from the artist and makes it more about the person who will be interacting with this object every day of their life. To put this into perspective, this is like when you were a kid and decorated your notebooks for school. It identified it as your own and made it something you were proud to carry around with you.

Another thing sustainable design is interested in is "localism". It is the act of keeping the materials sustainable and close to where they are produced. That is maybe using local wool when you knit a scarf or using a local fabric tailor to produce your clothing line. Localism is more then just keeping shipping costs of materials down, it keeps local businesses IN business.

Sustainable design is new in the U.S. It would be wrong of any of us to say we have it all figured out. It is constantly a question of "Is this sustainable design?" I mean if it is natural and unaltered it might be sustainable but if its a product of industrial wastes it might still be sustainable because its using every bit of the production process for something constructive.