Business model design

Product Ecology

If Products Could Tell Their Stories

I’ll be teaching a class as an adjunct professor on my favorite subject at NYU’s ITP school this winter term: If Products Could Tell Their Stories – Towards a Model of Sustainable Design. Thanks to Tom Igoe, at ITP, for his encouragement. And precedent – his book: Making Things Talk Practical Methods for Connecting Physical Objects Made me think – if products can now talk, thanks to  technology becoming cheap Read More

Proposal for 2009: The Product Truth Act

It’s about binkies. I’ll take the risk of being a mom blogger, now that I am a new mom, for this post alone. As much as I’ve been aware of the difficulties required in finding out the truth about products, their materials, manufacturing methods, and backstories, there’s nothing like the experience of new motherhood to drive this point home so painfully. The binky story: While waiting in line to vote Read More

World of Good: Early Efforts in Ethical Consumption

Imagine a system of commerce in which you knew the people who made your things, and were assured that the making and delivering of these objects harmed no animals, preserved the environment, and empowered humanity. eBay has tried to turn this vision into a Paypal-funded experiment through World of Good. In the spirit of launch and learn, I won’t be too harsh. The combined company has good intentions; they’ve just made Read More

If Products Could Speak

I want to give products a voice. When I look at a pencil, a mop, or a smart phone, I most likely don’t know where in the world these objects came from, what they are made out of, who created them, nor do I know who or what was affected in the making of these things. The more I become aware of the impact that products make on our health, Read More

These Flocks: Storytelling Product Backstories

Christien Meindertsma shows how a student can better illuminate life cycle thinking and product transparency in a creative way. While she was still in design school, Meindertsma launched a the project These Flocks. She purchased a flock of sheep, and then created sweaters, hats, and a “pouf” footstool using the wool from this flock. Each product received a passport describing the origin of the product, including the birthplace, weight, breed, and Read More

EPA Announces New Cell-phone Recycling Program

At Inhabitat: The Consumer Electronics Show is all about the sizzle of shiny and new, but what happens to your old gadgets when you are ready for an upgrade? This week, the EPA announced an easy cellphone recycling program partnership with key phone device makers and service providers. The goal: redirect the 130 million cellphones that will be retired this year to a responsible afterlife. Through this partnership, there are multiple mail-in and drop-off Read More

Takeback My TV: Think Before You Recycle

Inhabitat: The tale of what happens to your old, forgotten television sets is sad, shocking, and may even turn you off from the very idea of recycling your gadgets. So before we begin, let’s start out by noting that there are responsible ways to recycle or decommission your old TVs and other electronics waste that you have sitting in your garage or storage closets. We’ll get there. But first – Read More

Nokia Phone Recycling Program Launches in NYC!

At Inhabitat: November 15th is America Recycles Day! Time for New Yorkers to celebrate by finding a home for that used cellphone collection you’re storing somewhere. Nokia recently announced a recycling campaign to collect 100,000 unwanted mobile devices between now and November 15th, and has made it even easier by allowing drop of at their flagship store in Manhattan at 5 East 57th Street.   Read more: Nokia phone recycling program launches in NYC! | Inhabitat Read More

Green Your Appliances! Coffee Makers

At Inhabitat: Overall, coffee machines and espresso makers are not the greatest energy drains on our monthly electric bill, so the green options are more subtle and complex than choosing a washer/dryer or refrigerator. For larger, energy-consuming devices, the EPA provides the Energy Star system and manufacturers themselves provide detailed specifications and product back-story to explain efficiency enhancements in design. Coffee makers are not evaluated by Energy Star, nor by Consumer Report’s Greener Read More

Green Your Appliances! Dishwashers

At Inhabitat: The dishwasher is a modern convenience that saves us hours of cleaning and drying time, not to mention pruney dishpan hands. But is the dishwasher an extravagance in our eco-conscious age? You might be surprised! The answer is no – and that’s a win-win for those who believe that technology can lead to a greener, more prosperous future.   Read more: GREEN YOUR APPLIANCES! Dishwashers | Inhabitat – Sustainable Read More