This is a great subject for a design competition. I like the plastic bag problem as a focus, so in a similar approach I am starting by analyzing my trash. What function can I add to these objects? Not only to increase or add use and postpone their journey to the landfill, but hopefully inspire a positive adaptation of the user. In my trash now: toilet paper roll, torn up credit card offers, mass mailer aol internet cds, pencil butt, some reciepts and random papers. Although Im not sure what direction Im taking yet, I know I have begun on my first design competition!
Portugal is NOW very concerned with recycling, and the government released a door to door advertising, prizing families that can prove their active commitment to the “cause”.
I’ve been very concerned about recycling ever since I started studying design. And everytime I threw away a plastic coke bottle, or a philadeflia cream cheese box, or a carton of milk… it just broke my heart to see such waste. That piece of plastic is going to a place where it will serve no good porpose!
If anyone can point out just one good thing about landfills, except for time economy, I’ll give up design! Most of the solution is in the process. If we can apply the same time, money, fuel, and labor (etc) economy to the recycling process, the job is done.
But what happen’s if we start messing around with big production lines of blow molded plastic bottles?! We are messing around with thousands of jobs! You want to mess around with that?!.. Well, I guess that’s our job!
What makes this economy so great? It’s the almost uncontrolable circulation of goods and services from one place to another! So if we can somewhere in the middle stick some recycling processes (without complicating things too much) we’re only creating more jobs… and less landfills that don’t do us any good!
I say the solution is in the trash! Go dig!
Continue the good work!
Starting at what goes in the trash is a good start, and i love the idea of rewarding people for their efforts in reducing the growing amount of garbage in landfills; however, like petermartins mentioned, the families have to “prove” their committment, which I think may be difficult to achieve for some … (think of price rebates… how many people actually send those in?..)
I know in some communities, recycling programs haven’t been established yet mainly due to cost and lack of participation. You might want to consider looking at how to effectively promote the act of recycling, or how to improve the overall process from: sorting the recyclables, to the pick-up or drop-off, to the recylcing plants, back to the packing plants… etc…
Anyway, just my thoughts. I did an Eco-project in ID school awhile back; and even though the company that I work for isn’t the most Eco-friendly company, I am continuously trying to implement eco-issues in the products that i design.
Think little steps… Good luck!
Reuse is ALWAYS preferable to recycling, it saves energy and material at every possible level.
You might consider narrowing the problem down to one particular type of waste that bothers you, and coming up with a product or an idea that encourages people to reuse/repurpose it. A bit of hardware that allows you to build, say, walls out of used soda bottles? (Crap example but you get the idea.) This kind of thing could even have a social purpose–building quick housing in refugee camps and the like.
…hmmmm…getting inspired for my food packaging project…
How about a “personal incinerator?” Eliminate “trash” alltogether! Turn it into fuel to power the home!
Different compartments could also melt-down your recyclables into space-efficient billets that you can later cash in at a recycling center. Or better yet, they feed your “desktop assembler” with raw materials so that you can reconstitute the waste into new products.
how’s it going, Apollo? got oddly quiet in this thread.
TRASH! YES!!! Why didn’t I think of that…wait…where are my pants? In life I’ve learned that sometimes that right answer is most often the one staring you right in the face! It’s hard to imagine 120 million tons, but that’s just about what is produced in one day in America! So, anything we as humans on earth can do to slow and better yet stop this chaos would be a paradigm shift that you are asking to solve. Hea! I’m so with you! Just fill me in when you figure this one out.
“Or better yet, they feed your “desktop assembler” with raw materials so that you can reconstitute the waste into new products.”
there it is! (see your thread CG)
seems like this one is dying. shame. you still there Apollo?