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Technology provides society with numerous benefits, but with these benefits also comes a host of negatives. New technological developments place great strain on our environment and lead to increased levels of pollution, deforestation, and the disruption of human and animal ecosystems.
To ensure the cost of technology doesn’t outweigh the benefits, companies have looked creatively to design for sustainability. Sustainable design is the creation of products, services, and structures that comply with the principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability.
As the products and services we consume become more advanced, sustainable design has supported the need for human-centred solutions whilst not exhausting the Earth’s scarce resources.
An example of one of these positive solutions is the One Central Park building in Sydney, which was named the best tall building of 2014. One Central Park was created with sustainable design in mind. The building is covered with over 3,500 square feet of gardens, including 383 different species of plants. This funky, eco-building contains a tri-generation plant, which means it will save 140,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over 25 years! Now, that’s a lot of greenhouse gas!
But sustainable design does not only involve architecture. Another homegrown company, Who Gives A Crap, is an Aussie startup that creates environmentally friendly toilet paper. Their sustainable toilet paper is made from 100 percent recycled fibres, bamboo, and sugarcane — saving water, carbon emissions, and trees.
But what makes Who Gives A Crap so unique? The company donates 50 percent of their profits to build toilets in the developing world, which is part of their initiative to give back to local communities and create a positive social impact.
When creating solutions that are sustainable and eco-conscious the best way to drive sustainable change is through collaboration. Kara Prosser, Senior Strategic Designer of Isobar Good, believes lives and breathes this every day and helps to push people to think, create, and design sustainably.
“Bringing together the collective minds of people is essential in positive design. Creating human-centred solutions within communities creates value that can be measured by more than money or time — but through impact.”