Creating answers to current needs of humans and society today, while considering how to positively impact the world for tomorrow, is basically the idea of sustainable design. Sometimes referred to as environmentally stable design or environmental design, physical objects are developed in order to eliminate drains such as non-renewable resources, as well as pursue relationship between people and the natural world around them.
Technology Life Cycle
Understanding that most progress tends to eventually run out leads to the need for innovative designers to be aware of and respectful toward long-term relationships. When the problem of natural limits is reached, designers and developers must look to investments which diminish the need of the resources, therefore decreasing the demand.
When societies began and there was, seemingly, an infinite amount of space, the idea of waste was simply not a problem in the forefront of minds. However, as time has passed and populations have grown, the impact of waste on the environment (and therefore people) has extended its reach and come to a head. Any type of waste disposal will ultimately have some negative impact on the environment, such as landfills, water treatment systems, and burning of garbage.
While many technologists have sought ways to minimize the impact of waste on the environment, ultimately the only way to do that is to reduce waste. This means participation on the parts of communities, manufacturers, and individual households to make choices which generate less solid waste. Choosing biodegradable materials, recycling items back for re-use, reduction of toxic materials, and various other methods can be implemented to minimize the negative impact of waste on the eco-system and society.
Principles of Sustainable Design
When designers and technologist are working on designing objects which are environmentally sustainable, there are several factors which are taken into account that promote this concept.
• Humanity and Nature should co-exist in a healthy and sustainable way
• Processes and production should be as energy efficient as possible
• Materials should be non-toxic, renewable, recyclable, and/or energy efficient
• Objects, systems, and processes should have potential for re-use and recycling
• Waste should be minimized and ultimately eliminated
• Materials and labor should be locally sourced whenever possible
• Lessen the carbon footprint of humans on the environment
• Community efforts to provide shared services such as transportation and resources
• Products should be safe for humans and the earth, and should project long-term value
• Share sustainable design knowledge in order to promote regular improvement
In the world of sustainable design, many more principles come into play and objects, systems, and products are created. Aiming to protect the environment and world economies while continuing to keep up with current needs and demands is a very delicate balancing act. Sustainable Design is one of the main solutions to bringing stability and equilibrium to the world.