Sustainable Design Practice

ecodesignpaper greentablecafeinterior ecomenu repurposepalletcolour greenbookDesigners can make a significant reduction on the environmental impacts of their trade by following some simple guidelines. The good news is we are currently living a design climate that values the old, vintage and repurposed – note the use of old timber and shabby finishes everywhere from offices to cafes and restaurants, even public buildings. Long may it continue.
We are increasingly using electronic communication over snail mail – thus reducing paper and ink used. If all businesses could email everything but essential matter that has to be printed and sent on actual paper and using actual envelopes it would be a great step in the right direction. Repurposing the old instead of using or purchasing brand new is essential if we are to continue sustainably as designers.
Graphic design – using narrower more condensed fonts such as Arial Narrow for large areas of text can reduce the number of pages used. Also by reducing font size and formatting to single line space where this is appropriate. Simplify designs to use less ink and more colour/black on white ground. PDF Proofs can sent and approved via email. As designers we can offer eco solutions to our clients. And go small instead of big ie right size the job. Using recycled paper is a given of course. Designers can choose printers who use environmentally friendly inks and recycled paper/card stock. And dispose of their waste in a responsible manner
Interior designer – we can consciously decide to repurpose old objects and give them new life instead of purchasing brand new for clients. Repurposing old continues the cycle with little environmental impact. And incidentally older things were often made better because they were made to last. Interior designers can find ample and inspiring material in tipshops, garage sales, council chuck out days and online ie gumtree.
Encourage clients to use recycled, repurposed, organic and eco-friendly where possible. Communication of your design principles on your website will ensure prospective clients are “on the same page”

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