Ecodesign. What is it?

This is one definition:

Ecodesign is an approach to designing products with special consideration for the environmental impacts of the product during its whole life cycle. In a life cycle assessment, the life cycle of a product is usually divided into procurement, manufacture, use, and disposal.

So what does that mean? First, you have to break down the life cycle of a product. Most people think of the life cycle of a product as if it was “born” when it was purchased but in fact it has been around a while already.

Just because you use that pretty empty wine bottle to make a vase or soap dispenser doesn’t mean it has been eco-friendly its whole life. How was it made? What was its carbon footprint before you ever bought it? I’m not saying that repurposing isn’t a really good idea, I’m just saying it is only half the answer.

So what do you do? Look for products that are made with a commitment to environmental responsibility. Either they try to keep the carbon footprint low by repurposing themselves or they’re dedicated to environmental protection in another way.

Sounds complicated, right? It doesn’t have to be. A few keystrokes can tell you if your favorite products/companies are enhancing or destroying our environment. It’s amazing what you can find out, but beware of “fake information.” We all know how that can adversely affect things!

You can also buy local: farmers markets, local shops, flea markets, yard sales. Buy from your friends and neighbors, people who grow the food themselves, sew the quilts, blow the glass and make the soap. You will feel so much better. I guarantee it.

And while I’m posting, here are a couple great ideas for your glass bottles and jars.

Nancy Bradley photo

Nancy bradley

I consult, design, and remodel spaces that reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget by getting the cost question out of the way and really listening to what my client wants and how much they have set aside for their project.