Designing for Environmental Good

We need to wake up and realize that our efforts to promote social and environmental good are at best flawed. Many a woman and man has come forward and given everything to fight for civil rights and social justice. Yet, here we are in 2021 and people are still at each others throats and sound one way while on Social Media. But present differently through the way the lead there lives. Colin Kapernick, in efforts to bring a spotlight to the continued police brutality and systemic racism, gave up his professional career as an NFL quarterback. In reaction to him being “persona non gratis”, there was a large call for the NFL to be boycotted. Yet, millions continued to support their teams and players continued to play.

I believe this campaign is how we need to move forward with everything. Social good and justice in my opinion will always be an uphill battle. Until we are all the same color or classified as one race; there will always be resistance. Cynical but true, at lest in my opinion.

So lets design to change something that we can effectively change. Environmental good is not only good for us but good for future generations. But we can no longer design like this. This is clearly an ineffective way to talk about serious climate change or environmental good. Yes this is great to reach the next generation but there also needs to be a more effective message that reaches the ones in power.

Designing in regards to promoting environmental good. Instead of building new structures to house people, that require the use of new materials. Convert old spaces into viable living spaces for our increasing population. Or go a step further and instead of completely changing the landscape, design to the fit the landscape.

Admittedly there comes an issue with that of turning old buildings into new living and retail spaces. The ugly head of gentrification. That is a whole-nother level of social good discussion. So instead of going down the rabbit hole and getting lost in climate change lets take a look at some effective efforts in design and the positivity of environmental design.

I think these are two examples of effective efforts to bringing attention to environmental good. They are not generalized ads to save (insert cause). These are to very specific messages. Yes the sugar cone with the melting earth is a little broad, but I think we get the point of climate change and global warming. Now the gun turning to smoke stack is brilliant!! Nothing more synonymous with killing than a gun. Straight forward and I think understood across many generations.

Now in the realm of packaging design and beyond, these are but a few examples. Loop is brought to us from parent company TERRACYCLE, whose global mission to eliminate the idea of waste. By giving another option other than recycling. Basically, its what many people have been doing for years when going to markets that promote using your own containers or the reuse of containers for bulk products. Their goal of breaking from the cycle of use and toss to use and reuse seems to be taking traction as there increasing presence in worldwide grocers. My new favorite is packaging that has a second life. These compostable packaging of the oranges also promotes the lessening of food waste.

There is a way to a better world in both the realm of the environment and social good. We just need to find a way to combine the two .

The only thing is that we need to do this on all levels of society. Not just in white suburbia, this has to be a change in every neighborhood.

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