From carbon footprints to water conservation, consumers are increasingly worried about the impact they are leaving on the earth, and are looking to purchase products that can help them mitigate that impact.
Environmentally Friendly Product Desing Tips
Follow these tips to design a more eco-friendly product.
The sale of products involves a lot of transportation. Raw materials must be transported to the factory, and finished products must be transported from the factory to the market. Of course, all that transportation requires fuel. In many cases, raw material extraction, manufacturing, and consumer sales may all take place on different continents, subsequently driving up fuel needs and exponentially increasing the environmental impact of your product.
Whenever possible, you want to keep extraction, production, and sales as close together as possible. However, in some case logistics make this simply impossible. If it is necessary that raw materials or finished products travel long distances, it is best to opt for travel via sea or rail. Products that are distributed by road or air have a larger impact than those transported by sea or rail.
Choose materials wisely
Eco-friendly materials are arguably the cornerstones of any green product. Never use more materials than are absolutely necessary, and always choose low-maintenance fabrics and materials. Believe it or not, washing and dry cleaning actually take a significant environmental toll on the earth. Last, but not least, don’t let any materials go to waste.
Think about what happens at the end of your product’s lifecycle
Nothing lasts forever, not even the best products. Overall, the goal should be to make your product last as long as possible, which means choosing materials and opting for designs that maximize durability. When consumers constantly go through poorly-constructed, flimsy goods, their consumption increases (as they need to constantly keep replacing flimsy products), which in turn, drives up resource demand and consumption. The entire goal of eco-friendly product design is precisely to lessen that demand and consumption. The longer a product lasts, the better it is for the environment.
When it is time for your product to be retired, the goal is to try and ensure that your product doesn’t just end up rotting in some landfill somewhere at the end of its lifecycle. A great idea is to take your product back once a consumer has put it to rest. Let customers trade it in when they are finished with it, and you can re-construct it into something new or donate it to charity. Not only will you win major points with your eco-conscious consumers, but recycling will also help you improve your bottom line. If recycling isn’t a possibility, try to mitigate the damage your product will do to the earth in a landmine. It is generally advisable to avoid organic materials such as wood, as when in a landfill, these products will tend to mix with other substances and produce methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas.
Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with extensive experience in the medtech industry. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.