As society progresses, a lot of us are becoming more aware of the negatives that follow unsustainable and damaging products. A lot of the things that we use around us every day are either improperly disposed of, which can have an extremely negative impact on our world, the environment, wildlife, and climate change. Product designs of inventions as a method and strategy to help tackle and find alternatives to how we can better and change our world is a great start since a lot of the pollution we have today is essentially due to product or packaging design that was not created with the thought in mind of being safely disposable.
Sustainability is not only great for the environment but also is a great way to appeal to consumers since most people understand it is better to consume in a product that will ultimately help the environment, rather than damage it. Therefore, not only do you create a great product that can help people, but they also help the world’s environment. Below are some ways in which you can tackle disposable product design whiles still making a product that is more healthy, sustainable, and eco-friendly for the world.
Compostable and Biodegradable Products
Product designs of inventions that are compostable are essential to make a product that is made with the intention of disintegrating. In a composting environment, you allow products that are biodegradable properly disintegrate and go through the composting process in order to successfully support plant life. Composting can be done just about anywhere, but it is best that the products that you threw away that you know are compostable or biodegradable are thrown away properly. Even if improperly thrown out, the biggest advantages of compostable products are that it can still disintegrate naturally but may leave pieces left behind.
Nonetheless, the majority of products breaking down and being absorbed by the earth is better than being left to waste. Biodegradable products refer to products in which the microbes within the environment can break down the material of the product and use it as a food source. Biodegradation can take place in different environments such as soils, marine environments, and compost sites. The environment essential converts carbon from the product and turns it into energy in order to maintain life.
Edible Bowls and Plates
One of the most known products that continuously presents a problem in pollution has been disposable and one-use plates. With the summer season here, more people are spending their days outdoors and partaking in picnics and barbeques, which means more plastic plates and cutlery are likely to be used. A way that innovators have tackled this dilemma is to make product designs of inventions that are an eco-friendly and biodegradable product that can both be used to fulfill its function and still be rest assured that no matter where it gets thrown out, will still degrade and not pose a risk to the environment. Biotrem is a popular and well-known company that thought of the idea of making edible bowls and plates. Their plates are made from wheat bran, which means after you’ve done eating from your plate, you can eat the plate as well! If not, you can be rest assured that it will degrade within 30 days of being thrown out.
Another one of the major polluters within the product and design world is the fashion industry. Thousands of garments of clothes are burned every year when they are not found proper use, and especially with the popularity of fast-fashion, the fashion industry can be extremely detrimental to the environment when too many pieces of clothing are created and no one wearing them. Shoes, in particular, are one culprit of fashion waste that cause a negative impact to the environment primarily because they are made with or include plastics and are not biodegradable if thrown out.
Innovators at WAES footwear have been looking to create a change in this problem and have used natural materials to create a fully compostable and biodegradable shoe! The shoes feature an organic canvas upper and a leather upper that is bound together using conifer glue and twine made from hemp, cotton, and flax, whereas the insole and outsole are made of tree sap. Shoes that usually end up in landfill almost never get recycled or degraded and can cause a lot of damage to the environment by allowing dangerous chemicals to seep into the ground – however with efforts to make sustainable and compostable and degradable products such as the WAES shoes, we can see how product designs of inventions can be innovated in order to create both functional products that have less harm onto our environment.
If you have a great new invention and you’d like to learn more about this process, get in touch with MAKO here and visit our website to find out more. Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-MAKO and we can set you up on a call with our product analyst!
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!