A sustainable underground fridge + more product designs to help you lead that zero waste lifestyle!

Our unhealthy practices and way of living are truly harmful to the environment and have been slowly leading to its deterioration. And the world has been changing (for the worse) because of this. Hence, it is extremely important to live sustainably and consciously and to take care of the environment. Integrating sustainability into our day-to-day lives has become crucial! And we can do this in various ways. Designers and creators are coming up with sustainable alternatives for almost everything! Every product that is necessary and utilized by us in our everyday routine has an eco-friendly alternative to it. Replacing our usual mass-produced designs with these greener options will make a huge difference to the environment and Mother Earth! From a sustainable underground fridge that keeps food chilled naturally, to the world’s first sustainable workstation, we’ve curated a whole collection of sustainable product designs to help you go green!

Cellars have been used across the ages to store food or even act like bunker houses in case of natural disasters. Groundfridge takes that design one step further by adding fresh food refrigeration to the game. The trick used by Groundfridge is by utilizing the natural insulating capacity of the ground and the cooler night air temperatures. The balance of this design allows you to store your vegetables, fruits, cheese, and even wine throughout the year. Ventilating this project uses a fan with a timer that replenishes the cool air during the night. Too hot for comfort? An additional cooler can be used to power it during the hottest summer days. “The Groundfridge is dug in and covered with the excavated soil from its new location. This covering layer of soil is about 1 meter thick and has good insulating properties for the core temperature within the Groundfridge to barely vary. Furthermore, your Groundfridge is fitted with a ventilator.” I can see this system become a sustainable alternative in family housing societies trying to adopt a more eco-friendly style of living.

The Everloop Toothbrush from NOS tackles this problem head-on by using a recycled plastic handle and disposable bamboo bristles. Taking on a unique cradle-to-cradle approach, the brush comes with a plastic handle that is, in fact, made from recycled toothbrushes. At the very end is a clamping mechanism that allows you to attach 100% natural bamboo bristles to the toothbrush’s head. The idea is to retain the plastic handle and periodically replace the bamboo bristles every few months. The bamboo bristles have absolutely no plastic in them, allowing them to easily be disposed of, or composted in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.

Oquari is a biodegradable razor with comes with interchangeable heads that aim to provide a sustainable alternative that can help reduce the burden on the environment. The razor is made with PBS Bionelle as well as stainless steel blades as part of a regenerative approach and it degrades in aquatic environments. Its design is specifically geared at reducing manufacturing processes and facilitate the separation of its elements at the end of its life so that it becomes an accessible, attractive, and economical product without being recognized as “disposable” which the team refers to as  ‘monstrous hybrid’ – a term coined by

Inspired to create a standing fan that’s not white, plastic, and likely to end up on the sidewalk come September, design group Ttato built Aura. Minimal by conscious design, Aura’s build was stripped down to its bare components: cage, propeller, base, and motor. Built to be a home appliance that can be used throughout the year, Aura was specifically built for optimal functionality. Constructed with materials that were selected for their sustainability, durability, and beauty, Aura exudes a sophisticated air and follows that through with detailed functionality. Aura’s rotor blades, for instance, were formed from the overlaying and bending of birch and ash veneers, lengthening the rotor blades’ lifespan while celebrating the craft of woodworkers.

Pith & Stem describes its sustainable DropTop workstation as fully integrated and plug-and-play ready, meaning that it comes kitted out with a pair of 24-inch full-HD monitors and USB/USB-C cables for charging and connecting to Windows and Mac laptops. Beneath these monitors are two storage areas for said laptops or other odds and ends. The workstation itself is made from thick birch plywood that can be finished in either black or white satin, with the front folding down to form a desk measuring 120 x 60 cm (47 x 24 in) that is held in place by custom hinges, which appear to be rather strong.

Made from wheat husk for its base and PHA for the lid, Reuse serves as a fully compostable food container that not only amplifies our experience consuming takeout food but creates a conversation around our high-consumption habits and the negative effect they have on our environment. Wheat husk and PHA, a bacteria-based composite that works like a natural plastic derived from organic materials, can both be composted as food waste, without additional industrial-level composting facilities.

Nuclée is a lamp created from discarded banana flesh and it is….truly bananas! The minimal lamp puts the sustainable material front and center with a bamboo circle around it to highlight it. Banana fibers from the plantations are usually considered as waste after the traditional extraction process and cast aside. However, the designers were intrigued by this. material and found it fascinating when working with a lighting design concept. After empirical research, they succeeded in stabilizing the plant tissue using a particular refining technique and after applying different pressure as well as heat parameters. This new material is highlighted by shapes of bent bamboo, inspired by the internal structure of the banana tree stem and that is how the form of Nuclée mood lights came to be.

Switch is an award-winning toothbrush design with sustainability at its core. It allows you to replace only the brush head and keep the long-lasting metal handle. Manually replace the head by simply twisting the top of the toothbrush to remove and replace the head with a range of options. Switch is produced from recycled materials and the first of its kind available for mass production so it can make an impact quickly when distributed in the market. The design was one of the Red Dot Design Awards 2021 winners as well as a part of the iF Design Awards 2021. The bristles change color indicating that the head needs to be changed and ensuring effective cleaning.

CANNE addresses the problem of people not having the motivation to join a CPR course because of fewer opportunities, fewer interests, high cost, fast-paced lifestyle, and less awareness. CPR training also requires mannequins which are expensive and given the population of China, teaching cost is a big factor to keep in mind. The less qualified full-time instructors, short supply, and overworked skilled physicians were other significant barriers that were uncovered during research. CANNE addresses these problems with its cost-effective, sustainable, and easily accessible design. It provides a self-directed CPR learning experience for every citizen and can be broken down into two parts – a corrugated cardboard Basic Life Support (BLS) learning kit and a BLS self-directed smartphone app.

Eunsang Lee has designed 5A1, a modular, infinity room divider that can be endlessly reconfigured to extend the product’s life cycle. Feeling a sense of responsibility as a designer to create more sustainable products, Eunsang Lee turned to room dividers to reinterpret the classic piece of furniture. Today, new products are typically made from materials with short life cycles, leading to more consumption and waste. Constructed from responsibly sourced and sustainable materials like wood and steel, 5A1 is a minimal room divider, formed by hanging steel cables where steel and wooden modules can be attached and configured to hang clothes, mirrors, or even plants. Inspired by the act of communication between people, the 5A1 room divider comes with modules that can be attached, forming infinite configurations and a multifunctional piece of home decor.