Design Sustainability

Design sustainability is starting to become even more important, as we are all starting to become more worried about the environment and the world that we are destroying. According to U.S General Services Administration, “sustainable design seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment”(1).

As designing software developed, packaging seemed to grow and be used when it’s unnecessary just to make products more visually appealing. Many products now have layers of packaging on, which is just creating more waste and killing the environment. In my opinion, the worst type of product you can purchase with wasteful packaging is a toy. This is because toys are typically placed in a box, surrounded by plastic and tied really tightly into a position. I think the amount of packaging on toys is ridiculous and it should be reduced, because it always seems impossible for children to even free their toys from the boxes so they can play with them.

Due to all the issues the packaging is causing for the environment, companies now seem to be cutting it down. The design on the packages also looks more basic and simple, making products seem more natural and eco-friendly. Personally, I prefer things with a more basic and simple design because they make me feel more confident with what i’m purchasing. However, some people would argue that they are more attracted to ‘out of this world’ designs that are very over the top.

An example of reduced packaging is Easter eggs. Apparently, “Each year, more than 8,000 tonnes of waste is generated just from Easter egg packaging and cards alone” (2) which is astonishing. In 2012, Nestle commenced the transformation of the impact Easter egg packaging had on the environment. The company changed the packaging to be “100% recyclable” (3), making a positive impact on the environment. After this first change in packaging other companies, such as Cadbury’s, have followed in Nestlé’s footsteps to change for the better.

To me, as a journalist, sustainability is really important. Nowadays, journalistic products come in all forms and the news can be viewed on all media platforms. One of the main sources of news is still newspapers and magazines. Print media can hugely affect the environment, which is why I believe it is vital that they stay recyclable. The rise of digital media has also really helped sustainability. This is due to there been no wastage from viewing online content and only energy been used. I think it’s good that journalism has shifted with the times and is becoming more digital. There is also probably less wastage from newspapers and magazines now compared to in the past, because digital media is more popular. Although digital journalism is good for the environment, it can actually cause companies to lose profits if people are viewing the content for free. And so I think it’s still good to have print media to attract readers, who then may go on to be loyal readers who view online content later.

(1) http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104462

(2) http://www.wasteconnect.co.uk/page.aspx?ID=36d6a9bc-a62a-4809-98cf-49dae76f2626

(3) http://www.packagingnews.co.uk/news/nestle-goes-eggstra-mile-for-easter-with-100-recyclable-packs-19-03-2012

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