Sustainable design is an eco-friendly approach to create products or services by considering environmental, social, and economic effects from the beginning of production to the end of use.
In general, sustainable design is analogous to eco-design because they both focus on protecting the environment. Statistics say that 80% of environmental effects occur due to design problems.
By focusing on the pillars of sustainable design, along with its principles, the environmental damage and social problems due to wrong designs can be avoided.
Looking at the environmental and social issues lately, eco-design is adopted to find the best formula for a product to solve those issues.
In simple terms, sustainable design is the process of creating new products aimed to preserve natural resources and to maintain ecological balance without compromising the quality of life.
From here, the use of the sustainable is extended to various areas to prevent exploitation while fulfilling production, lifestyle, consumption, technology development, and others.
As long as humans do not harm nature, the ecosystem will continue to run and produce conditions that allow humans to get an ideal quality of life.
Sustainable design is a thought that focuses on the future. That means, humans should not spend natural resources just to meet the present needs and prevent future generations from getting the same.
In its application, sustainable design has three important pillars to ensure that humans can meet the present needs while ensuring that future generations can get the same natural resources.
Many activities are focused on reducing carbon emissions, product waste, water use, and so on. Besides helping the planet, this act has a positive effect on finances. Reducing plastic packaging means reducing production costs, while fuel efficiency helps lower operating costs, and so on.
Social pillars are closely related to human behavior. In sustainable design, products must be supported and approved by workers, owners, and the communities involved.
So, when building a house, the materials should not interfere the public access and any local wisdom, while the design should not trigger conflict.
To exist, products must be economically profitable. Aspects of compliance, proper governance, and risk management are important in the economic pillar.
An example of the economic pillar in the plantation industry is replacing chemical fertilizers with organic fertilizers, while offices use electric cars, or at least use fuel efficient cars.
To implement a sustainable design, there are principles that must be followed. Regardless the product, the principle will ensure that the environment will not be a victim while humans can get the benefits.
Making products that can be recycled must be started by choosing raw materials. Regardless the material, the recyclability point must be adapted to all aspects from the selection of raw materials to recycle when the product is finished.
When designing a product, find out what recycling systems are currently available so they don't add the waste. Cardboard packaging must be easily removed to avoid any damage so it can be reused for containers. If necessary, provide written guidelines for the recycling process.
Strong materials ensure products last longer, which means no more spending on repairs or replacing with new ones, and no natural resources are taken up to make these products again.
Having a strong house is positive for the environment and financial. Because there is no need for regular repairs, maintenance costs are lower. So, make sure to choose a material that can be long-lasting and consider various scenarios ahead for repair options.
Improvements allow the product to be reused again in the future. But there is another option where the product is reused in a different way without having to add another material.
Find a way how a product can be reused for the second or third time after the main function is fulfilled. This approach is useful for certain products that cannot be thrown away. Reusability allows a product to be adapted for different purposes without compromising its primary function.
When it reaches its end of life, the product can be reformed to start its life cycle again. A simple example is a jar of spices that can be converted into a glass or something similar.
Being efficient has a good impact on reducing the energy taken from nature. As a result, the production of carbon footprints can be reduced so the climate change can be suppressed.
To produce an efficient product, there are a number of areas to focus like the use of technology, material selection, and manufacturing techniques. Each phase of the production must be carefully planned, including the execution.
Repairability ensures that a product does not end up as waste after its life. Everything will break in time, but it should be possible to be repaired in order to prolong its life. Besides providing spare parts, the product must include instructions on how to do it.
Regardless of the material, the best clothing products usually have spare buttons placed on the inside, and this can be the best example of repairability points.